This inflammation can occur as a result of overuse, poor running, or overstraining of the calves and hips, says Bianca Beldini, D.P.T., a physical therapist and USA Triathlon level 1 coach in New York City. The plantar fascia is meant to absorb impact that we put on our feet, but when it’s subjected to high levels of repetitive physical stress (which is what happens when you run), the tissue can become damaged and irritated. This triggers an inflammatory response, resulting in the stiffness and shooting pain that’s a telltale sign of plantar fasciitis.
Once you get up and moving, the pain should improve as you walk, and using a tool like a lacrosse or tennis ball or spiky massage roller several times a day may help the pain gradually go away. “Anything that allows the bottom of the arch to roll and lengthen is a good way to treat [the pain],” Ragland says. Beldini adds that self-massage also helps increase blood flow in the area, which may help repair damaged tissue more quickly.
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