There are certain things you can always expect from the fall – leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice lattes, and holiday-themed fun runs!
Running events like the upcoming Sleepy Hollow 5K or any of our local Turkey Trots (there are at least nine in Long Island!) are awesome for so many different reasons. You can spend quality time training with friends or loved ones. Profits from the runs often go to charitable organizations. And, of course, there are the physical health benefits you receive from running.
If you are planning on participating in any local 5k (or longer!) race or fun run, you definitely need to spend time training as you lead up to it – even if your goal isn’t to place in the top-10. This is just a smart strategy for staying safe.
You do, however, want to be careful of overtraining. Doing so puts you at risk for overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis (the most common source of adult heel pain). A proper stretching regimen can lower that risk, but let’s take a quick look at what plantar fascia is and how to know if you have plantar fasciitis.
Your plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects the heel to the front of the foot. When this soft tissue is overstretched and sustains tears, it becomes inflamed and leads to the condition we know as plantar fasciitis. If you have this particular injury, you will recognize it by the sharp pain experienced in your heel when you first wake in the morning, or in the initial steps following extended periods of sitting or standing.
There are stretching exercises that can not only alleviate the pain you encounter with this condition, but also prevent it from happening in the first place. Some of the better ones include:
- Achilles Tendon Stretch – Stand approximately a foot and a half in front of a wall with your hands on it. Place your left foot behind the right one so the toes touch the heel. Keeping your back leg straight, bend your front knee until you feel the stretch in your lower left leg. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat two more times.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch – Sit barefoot in a chair and place your foot over your knee. Using the hand on the same side as your foot, gently pull back on your toes until you feel a good stretch along the bottom of your foot. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch feet. Repeat two more times.
- Towel Pulls – Place a towel on the floor and grab it with your toes and pull the towel towards you, then switch feet. Repeat 10 times.
Stretching exercises are a great way to start—and may turn out to be all the care you need—but it’s certainly possible that you will require additional treatment. When this is the case, come in for an appointment at Foot Specialists of Long Island and get the effective care you need. Our office is conveniently located in Nassau County and we are ready to help you today. Call our office at (516) 804-9038 or use our online form to request an appointment.