#805 Is it a big deal if I run with a partially torn plantar fascia? - DOC

#805 Is it a big deal if I run with a partially torn plantar fascia?

Is it a big deal if I run with a torn plantar fascia? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.



One of the problems with the plantar fascia is that you may think you have plantar fasciitis, and then eventually you find out that it’s not really fasciitis at all. It’s actually, you have a small tear or a partially torn plantar fascia ligament.

That is the largest ligament in your foot and the thing is like when somebody says, “Can I run with it?” Well, I say that depends. Can you run with it? Well, can you tolerate the pain and is it going to cause a debilitating injury that’s going to keep you from like running later. Those are really the big questions that I have for a runner when they call me with this issue.

In short, it’s not really a big deal if you run with a tear in the plantar fascia, except number one in the short term, it could potentially tear more making it take longer to heal in the long term. And number two, if even if it doesn’t really bother you, if you’re able to tolerate it, you’re able to put up with the pain and the irritation of it, the second problem is that the chronic inflammation around the plantar fascia where it’s torn that is basically causing inflammation because it’s trying to heal it but you’re not letting it heal because you’re running on it, that causes plantar fasciosis because the chronic inflammatory fluid has degradative enzymes that actually make the collagen in the ligament weaker.

In the long term it can actually get thicker and tear even more, get more micro tearing, and even a bigger split or tear in the fascia over time. And so, if you actually let it heal, that obviously is better, but it just depends on your timeline. If you have a race, you really want to do and you want to run with it and you can tolerate it in the short term, it could potentially rip a little more, but it’s probably not going to get fasciosis in the short term. But in the long term, it certainly can.

A lot of people think, well, it doesn’t hurt that bad. It’s not like I’m going to rupture my Achilles tendon. It’s not like I’m going to break my heel bone or something and they don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. But you’ve got to talk to your doctor, and you’ve got to be clear about what your overall running goals are, if you decide whether or not it makes sense for you to do this if you have a little tear in a plantar fascia and you’re trying to run with it.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you might want to check out the runner’s heel pain masterclass I created for you. You can get it for free at https://runnersheelpain.docontherun.com/intro. But listen, you got to really be clear with your doctor about your running goals above all else. If you haven’t done that, you’re selling yourself short. But if you talk to your doctor and you’re thoughtful about considering what your overall running goals are in light of the injury that you have, you can decide whether or not you can really run with it.

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