I recently injured my foot while running in the Baltimore Marathon Relay. It was more of a muscle spasm and strain, but it got me looking into the dreaded plantar fasciitis.
The problem with plantar fasciitis as a diagnosis is that it’s both everything and nothing. Any issue on the bottom of your foot that’s remotely close to the plantar fascia is instantly accused of being plantar fasciitis. However, no one seems to know enough about the condition to properly treat. Recommendations come in the form of stopping exercise (at least those that use your feet), taking medication to reduce inflammation and pain, orthotics that you have to wear for a lifetime, to heel spurs (which is unproven). Moreover, most treatments are focused on the plantar fascia itself as the issue but the problem likely lies elsewhere.
I don’t want to preach about what the right way to handle your condition is, but I do want to point to several resources, especially if you’re an athlete.
First, check out Anatomy for Runners. There’s a ton of useful information in here about biomechanics, physiology, and exercises to correct common issues related to running.
Second, take a look at Athlean-X’s video on plantar fasciitis. There’s not a one size fits all strategy here, though it seems like many doctors do exactly that. There are options.
As for myself, muscle spasms generally result from one of two problems: poor electrolyte balance or weakness. In my case, I believe it was the latter. So I’ve been working on strengthening my feet primarily through eccentric motions and making sure to keep my feet and my calves loosened up (just in case).
Do what’s smart for you, but I thought others might at least enjoy reading some other resources on the topic.