Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about repositioning your heel bone so you can run with plantar fasciitis.
On this episode, we’re just giving you a quick tip on how you can actually reduce some of the stress and strain on the plantar fascial ligament when you have plantar fasciitis and you want to keep running.
Now everybody knows, if you stop running you’re going to lose your running fitness. That’s not really confusing. That’s not hard to understand. But what you really need to understand is that plantar fasciitis is not really self-limiting.
It does not miraculously go away like a cold virus. It hangs around if you continue to aggravate it because the stress and strain to the plantar fascia that makes it irritable and causes this condition called plantar fasciitis, is a consequence of excess stress and strain.
But what you really need to understand is that the medial band or the inside band, the inside part of the plantar fascia ligament that goes from the inside of your heel, down across the arch and out to your big toe joint, that’s the part that gets stressed the most. When you stand up, it’s under the most tension. When your foot pronates and your arch comes down, it stretches the plantar fascial ligament and that puts additional strain on the plantar fascia. So the goal is to actually supinate your foot and tilt the heel bone over. The goal is to actually supinate the foot in a way that will pull the arch up away from the ground and that shortens the distance that the medial band of the plantar fascia has to span.
Now, there are a couple of really simple ways you can do this. One of the simplest ways, believe it or not, is to run on the street using the slope of the road to tilt the heel bone underneath you because when your foot lands on a sloped surface, like the side of the road where it slopes toward the gutter, that can do the job for you.
So if your left foot has plantar fasciitis and you run in the street, facing traffic with the sidewalk on your left and the cars passing by on your right as you run toward the cars into traffic, then that will actually tilt your left heel bone underneath you and that will actually change the position of the heel bone in a way that reduces the stress and strain on the injured tissue.
Now there’s another way to do it too, because if you’d like to run on jogging paths or trails where it’s not really sloped one direction or the other like the road is, well then you can actually apply a little bit of felt material, like just a modified padding underneath the heel bone, in a way that will supinate the heel bone. So I actually call this J padding and it’s a simple thing to do.
I actually, when I’m doing telemedicine visits with runners who have plantar fasciitis, I almost always show them exactly how to do this and what I do is I just take a felt pad that you can buy at the drug store or online and I modify it and cut it into the shape of a J and then apply it to the bottom of the insert, from the inside of the running shoe, and that pushes the heel bone and tilts it very slightly, to just remove a tiny bit of the tension to the plantar fascial ligament.
So, that’s a really easy thing you can do as well. But both of these approaches just help you tilt the heel bone to reduce the stress and strain to the plantar fascia ligament so you can keep running and keep maintaining your running fitness.
Now, if you want to see exactly how to do the J taping method, or J padding method I should say, I’ve got a free video for you. You can go to this episode, go to https://www.docontherun.com/runnersheelpain and you can find it there.
Click on the image below and you can get free access to it. You can check it out. It’ll show you exactly how to do it. It’s a little arts and craft project you can do at home but it will help you reduce the stress and train to the plantar fascial ligament, so you can keep running and maintain your running fitness while the plantar fasciitis calms down, so go check it out.
Here is how to access the free instructional video on J-padding to decrease stress and strain to the plantar fascia. Click in the image below.
If you want to take a deep dive…Learn how the running expert diagnoses and treats runner’s heel pain here: