THIS week I’m continuing my running injury theme by looking at Plantar Fasciitis, which can be a horrible and debilitating condition.

This is a condition I see not just in runners but also rugby and football players, especially this time of year with the ground getting harder, and also professions such as nurses and lifeguards.

The Plantar Fascia runs along the sole of your foot and connects from your heel bone to the ligaments of your toes.

It is a strong piece of connective tissue which has little blood flow to it.

It is a part of the body people often neglect, but is so important and used everyday.

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation and micro tears of the Plantar Fascia.

Common causes include wearing worn out/inappropriate shoes, having low/high arches, being overweight, long hours on your feet, tight calf muscles, walking barefoot on soft ground, repeated high-impact activities and sudden increases in activity levels.

In running populations, this is normally seen as an overuse injury.

Training errors, surfaces, biomechanical alignment and muscular dysfunction and inflexibility also cause inflammation in the area.

Symptoms can be varied and usually have a gradual onset:

n Pain and stiffness in the sole area of your foot, radiating from the heel.

n It can feel like a burning sensation or deep ache. It is not uncommon to feel several of these sensations throughout the course of the injury.

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