Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterised by pain in the heel or along the arch of the foot. Pain is usually worsened by moving your toes towards your tibia. You will feel the pain mainly after a long rest (especially in the morning) but tends to disappear after the location is warmed up.
The plantar fascia is a tissue supporting the arch on the plantar side of your foot. It runs from the heel (calcaneus) to the front foot (metatarsal heads). Plantar fasciitis is caused by overload and excessive stress on the plantar fascia.
What does science have to say?
Here are some key facts on plantar fasciitis:
- A significantly greater maximum instantaneous load rate was found in the plantar fasciitis athletes (1)
- In the acute stage of plantar fasciitis, runners presented lower loading rate and forces over the rearfoot (2)
- Decreased propulsive ground reaction forces are suggestive of compensatory responses (3)
- High-load strength training may aid in a quicker reduction in pain and improvements in function (4)
- Using minimalist shoes will get a worse outcome compared to staying in the shoes you got the injury in (5)
How to avoid it?
From the literature, the main parameters which can cause plantar fasciitis are higher propulsion force and loading rate as they both increase the stress on plantar fascia. However, in the acute phase of the injury, compensatory responses can result in decreased propulsion force and loading rate.
Front foot strikers may have greater risk of injury concerning their plantar fascia. But there are only rare articles studying this correlation.
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