The Incredibly Simple Fix for The Common Runner’s Injury, Plantar Fasciitis

Whether it be cardio or strength-related exercises, injury is the number one thing to avoid. Here's how to avoid and treat pesky heal injuries.


Michael Easter |

If you feel sharp pain in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis, an overuse injury common among runners, says Dr. Michael Skovdal Rathleff, of Denmark’s Aalborg University. To treat the ailment, the common advice was to stretch the painful tendon and rethink what type of shoe you were running in.

Related: The One Rule Every Runner Needs To Know

“Research shows those interventions are helpful to some degree,” says Rathleff. “But a large number of our patients would still have pain two years after their initial diagnosis. So we started to think outside the box for new, effective treatments.” Rathleff thought that strength training might be the answer.

Related: Thrust Your Way To A Stronger, Faster & More Injury-Resistant Body

He was onto something: In his new study, people who performed slow, weighted heel raises felt more relief in three months than those who only stretched. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions about why high-load strength training may work to relieve plantar fasciitis,” he says. “But we think the exercise may increase collagen production and your Achilles tendon’s ability to handle load.”

Related: Got A Shoulder Injury? This Guy Will Show You How To Recover Without The Relapse

Feeling the common running pain? Here’s how to tackle it:

The Fix

Do calf raises with flexion.

Stand on a padded step or low box.

Balance on the balls of your feet, both heels off the step.

Now take three seconds to rise up on your toes as high as you can.

Pause.

Slowly lower your heels as low as you can.

Pause.

That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 12 every other day.

Once you can do 12, try it with a weighted backpack.

READ MORE ON: avoid injury cardio injury recovery stretch exercise stretching

Copyright © 2019 Rodale Inc.