Ask the Doctor: Running With Plantar Fasciitis

Is it allowed? Recommended?

Q: Can you continue to run with plantar fasciitis and if so what are the guidelines?

-- Mary, Florida

A: The severity of a problem determines whether it is wise to continue running. If you have pain when you get out of bed in the morning or stand after sitting for a prolonged period and it resolves after taking a few steps, you should not have to decrease running at all. If you also have pain at the start of a run, but it resolves quickly, keep running. If the pain while running lasts for longer than a couple of minutes, cut back your running by 25%. If the pain persists throughout the run, cut back by at least 50%.

If you have pain with every step that you take, stop running and cross train in a pool or on a bike.

Even if the symptoms are mild, make sure that you work on stretching and strengthening exercises, use arch supports and ice your foot regularly.

-- Dr. Cathy Fieseler

[Ed. Note: see our recent article about possible causes of plantar fasciitis]

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