A common running injury is a strain of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia. A sudden increase in running can be a cause of inflammation of this area; a common tell-tale symptom is pain when you step on the foot first thing in the morning (this is because the tissue tightens up during sleep and isn’t warmed up and loose when you get wake up and get out of bed).
If you feel plantar fasciitis coming on, there are two quick treatments you can try:
FIRST, freeze a water bottle an roll your foot over it with moderate pressure. This ice massage is more effective than passive icing (when you simply use an ice pack) and will help reduce inflammation. Ice for ten minutes on, five minutes off, and repeat. In contrast to anti-inflammatory medications, which can cause stomach upset, there are no down-sides to icing, so it’s always worth trying as a first-line of attack for any suspected injury.
SECOND, roll your foot over a golf ball. Use moderate pressure, but back off the pressure if it hurts. This will help massage the area, which will relieve pressure and reduce the strain.