Running with Plantar Fasciitis

I have been suffering with PF for 6 months now and it shows no signs of going anytime soon, I am currently waiting for a MRI scan appointment and expect to have a steriod injection at some point.

Will running with PF worsen the condition, I can run without pain but suffer for it next morning, the pain subsides over the following day or so.

Will I be making the condition worse by occasionally running or if I am able to manage the pain is it ok to run?


  • Plantarfasciitis is a breakdown of the tissue due to inadequate healing opportunities.  It can be caused by overload, a change in training, footwear, muscle imbalances, foot type or other injuries causing compensation.

     Have you tried any form of treatment?

     Before you even consider allowing anyone stick a cortisone injection into it you should have some conservative treatment.  Unless you address the cause it will just come back once the steroid injection wears off.  Also the steroid can cause breakdown of tissue and therefore you can only ever have a maximum of 3 steroid injections into any area and even that can be a risk.

     With regards to running, appropriate loading is ok, but if you excessively load it can result in further breakdown.

  • I found regular sports massage, orthotics and strengthening exercises cured mine completely. Had to stop running for about 4 weeks in total, last vestiges of pain/issues gone in around 18 months.
  • HarryDejan wrote (see)

    Will running with PF worsen the condition,


    I had it very badly and was out for two years.  There are a number of threads about this on here, I used to post on one.  We all found that our causes of PF were different, so,therefore, were the cures, but the one thing that worked for everyone was rest.

    The cause of my PF was classic beginner's mistake, too many miles too soon and no stretching.  I cured mine by a combination of no running at all for 2 years, during which time I also wore a custom-made splint, had regular physio appointments involving ultrasound and massage, folowed a programme of exercises and stretches, had steroid injections and undertook constant rolling of a rounders ball under the foot. 

    I now make sure that I stretch routinely.

    I started back by walking 10mins x 2 a week and I'm now about to run my first marathon, so recovery is possible. 

    What works for me won't necessarily work for you, but if you keep running on it, then I think that you will only slow down the healing process. TBH I'm surprised that you've got to MRI / steroid injection stage and no-one's told you to stop running.  The first thing that I was told (in no uncertain terms)  was "STOP RUNNING NOW!"

    Hope these answer your questions and you get it sorted.

  • MY PF was caused (I believe) by changing shoe type in the lead up to this years VLM - the shoe I was sold was too soft and my orthotics were "collapsing" into the shoe and therefore the arch wasn't supported as it should be.

    I have tried all sorts of treatment over the last 6 months, physio, acupuncture, new orthotics, rest, stretching, night splint, ice bottle massage, golf ball rolling etc etc

    I have only run about a total of 20 miles in the last 6 months, currently swimming instead (which is soooooooooo boring)

    I finally got to see a specialist  last week who told me I would do no further damage by running and managing the pain - taking ibrufen etc if required, the MRI is basically to rule out the possibility of a stress fracture or similar, but to me running with pain seems wrong, I don't mean to challenge the specialist but should you really run with pain ??? I always thought that any pain was bad?

    After seeing the specialist last week I went out for a 2m jog, it felt great to be actually running again but the next morning the discomfort was worse - not hugely worse but a little.  it settled down after a day.

    I have decided to not to run again until after the MRI scan and results because to my mind, even if there is a slight chance that there is a stress fracture it doesn't make sense to run on it.

    I started this thread because although the specialist is the "expert", I value the opinion of others who have been through PF and are out the other side - back running.

  • Have you had your feet taped? That made the biggest difference for me.
  • The only way I cured mine was by stopping completely.  Being a laydee, I can also wear heels which prevent the pf tendon from stretching (as it does in flat shoes).

    I'd advocate no running at all - give the pf tendon a chance to repair.  They thought that I'd picked up a fracture too, but it was just the pf.

    I wear orthotics for over-pronation, but have had them adjusted for pf, so that's another alternative that you can add to the mix once it starts to go away. 

    I've never taped, but I know people who have and are in favour of it - worth a try.

    You could also try pool / aqua running where the weight is taken off the foot, so you're running but without stressing the tendon.

  • Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a similar problem and I was wondering if anyone knows of any cardio exercise that can be done with PF that won't aggravate it?

    I'm trying to come back to running after pregnancy and still have a stone to lose before I'm back at my running weight. My GP (a fellow runner) said the additional weight isn't helping me. Sadly I'm the kind of person who needs to exercise to lose weight. If I only ate lettuce and celery, I'd not lose an ounce.

    Swimming is not an option for me and normally I run 4x a week then do BodyPump and BodyCombat 2x a week - all of which are aggravating the PF.

    Would it be okay to use a cross trainer instead?
  • I'm about 90% cured by wearing orthotics in daily shoes and hill walking boots.

    I'm still aware of the old pain point but it seldom hurts any more.

  • That's great news, you must be relieved and happy.

    Hope it continues to improve and ultimately, disappear altogether.

  • ED your link didn't work anyhow, but don't use these threads for advertising - if you want to advertise on here, pay for it.  Most folks would ignore your plug anyhow, so you're wasting your time.
  • This info may or may not be useful, and make sure that, if you try it, you're effectively learning to run from scratch and it'll take you months to do. However, people who've changed their gait from heel strike to mid or forefoot strike have claimed it can alleviate PF - particularly if you incorporate barefoot work.

    Try a Google search - you'll find a lot of info. The crux is, because it takes a lot of muscle conditioning to change to FF strike, you could trade one problem for another - and there's no guarantee you'll cure the PF. 

    PF is also known as 'Policeman's Foot' - due to standing for long periods with pressure on the heel. If you're putting your landing forces on your balls, not heel, then it stands to reason you *could* feel a benefit. 

    Please note that I'm making a suggestion for something to check out - not preaching a gospel. FF striking also results in lower incidence of shin splints.

  • Hello all

    I have had PF for a few months now and not been able to run for the last two.  I foolishly ignored early warning pain signs as it seemed to go away the day after a run.  However hammering the hills, speedwork and quite a few club races in a short space of time did me no favours.  I also run mid to forefoot so I know it wasn't heel striking that caused it.

    I have stretched my calves and foot regularly which seems to have reduced the pain to a dull ache but its still there and I think while ever I can feel it walking, running is a definite no-go, unless someone can advise to the contrary.

    For exercise at the moment I have a decent sized kettlebell which I do some non stop circuits inbetween bodyweight exercises 2-4 times a week for 20-30 mins at a time.  All low impact but I can inject some intensity to keep the heart rate up with no rest. 

    Hope everyone soon gets back into running - it is driving me nuts knowing I can't and what I've missed training wise so far this winter.

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