Why Do I Get Sore Heels After Running?
Any runner who’s experienced heel pain will be able to tell you how frustrating it can be. The pain is one thing, but the way it can set back your fitness goals and affect your day-to-day life is a whole other level of annoying. You might find yourself wondering why you’re suddenly faced with aches and pains in the heels and arches of your foot, and likely you’re eager to know what you can do to fix this condition and get yourself back in top shape as soon as possible. So, let’s get into it!
This blog outlines the common causes of heel pain for runners, as well as some quick tips for at-home treatment. To get your heel pain properly diagnosed and treated, contact Northern Spinal today.
Causes of Heel Pain
There is a wide range of potential causes that may be causing you heel pain after running. Sometimes, it really isn’t all that complicated – you might just be overusing your ankle, or maybe a reduced range of motion could be affecting your gait as you run. Often, however, heel pain can be a sign of something else at play, or a consequence of other conditions. For example, people who have flat feet (fallen arches) or high arches are more likely to endure heel pain after running, due to the excess strain placed on the plantar fascia.
Other factors that could be affecting your heels during exercise also include weight and pre-existing injuries, which might affect your overall alignment and movement patterns as you run. Likewise, if you’ve suddenly considerably increased the intensity or frequency of your runs, your body may not be used to the stress it’s being placed under. Other potential causes of heel pain after running includes conditions such as:
- Stress fractures
- Sever’s disease
- Nerve irritation
Signs of Plantar Fasciitis
Very commonly, experiencing heel pain after running and exercising is a sign of plantar fasciitis – also known as runner’s heel. For most people, plantar fasciitis is experienced as a sharp pain around the heel and arch of your foot after running, and it is a condition that affects around 1 in 10 runners. While this may be a one-off experience for some, others may be left struggling with this annoying and painful condition regularly.
As one of the most common causes of heel injuries for runners, it’s important to understand the signs. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to see a doctor to get checked for plantar fasciitis:
- Increased pain when you start walking right after sleeping or sitting down for long periods
- Lessened pain during exercise that worsens again after resting
- Difficulty raising your toes off the floor
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can be treating and minimising your heel pain! Here are just a few of our top tips to ease discomfort in your foot and get yourself back in running condition quickly.
When you feel your heel flaring up, it’s best to give your body a break. Take some time off from running, intensive exercise, and any other activities that seem to cause pain. You’ll know it’s safe to resume your regular routine when all your symptoms have subsided.
Preparing your body can help not only minimise pain, but protect yourself from further injury in the further. Relieving pain and improving flexibility can be done all at once through gentle stretching routines that work the feet and calves. Doing this a couple times a day for just five minutes can make a world of difference to your overall health.
Never underestimate the power of an ice pack! If you’re noticing severe pain and inflammation, using an ice pack on your heels and the surrounding areas of your feet several times a day can help reduce the injury considerably. We recommend icing your heel for around 20 minutes at a time.
See a Professional
Often, heel pain can be mitigated with home remedies and careful prevention. However, if your pain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, booking an appointment to get some professional advice may be the way to go.
Book an Appointment at Northern Spinal
If you’re struggling with runner’s heel, plantar fasciitis, or any other form of heel pain, then there’s no need to put up with the discomfort any longer. Visiting a healthcare expert can help you get to the root of what’s going wrong, and provide you with an ongoing treatment plan that will get you up and running as soon as possible. Contact Northern Spinal today to book an appointment and get your heel pain properly assessed and effectively treated.