Category: Foot Condition Education
If your limping as soon as you wake up, or you feel a stabbing pain on your heel at the end of a full day of work, you probably suffer from plantar fasciitis. In fact, 10% of the US population does at some point in their life. We are here to explain to you what it is, your treatment options and pain relief exercises that will make you feel better almost immediately.
“Life will always bring you pain, but you have a choice in how much you suffer” - Gretchen Kubacky
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Your feet have a thick band of tissue, or ligament, that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the base of your toes. This tissue is called plantar fascia. It supports the arch of the foot and absorbs shock when walking, running or doing activities like playing sports.
The inflammation of the plantar fascia, is called plantar fasciitis.
It is usually more severe in the mornings and gets better as it warms up during the day, but if exposed to strenuous physical activity again, the inflammation will continue to impact your day to day.
Short-Term it can seem like nothing major to worry about, but as you change your walking pattern to deal with the pain, plantar fasciitis can lead to more serious heel pain, foot, knee, hip or back problems.
CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Putting too much pressure on the bottom of your feet while performing physical activities is what usually causes this tissue to wear or tear. Naturally, the body will respond with inflammation, and you will begin to feel heel pain and stiffness on the bottom of your foot.
Now, how do you know if you are putting too much pressure on it? Here are the top five factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
- Foot Arch and Mechanics: If you have fallen arches, your arch is too high, or you have an abnormal walking pattern, you are more exposed to suffer from plantar fasciitis. This is because your weight is not equally distributed across your foot, and hence causing more pressure in certain areas than others.
- Type of Work: This applies to teachers, nurses, landscape, warehouse or amusement park workers, for example. If you are standing all day in hard surfaces with shoes than don’t support your arch, this tissue on your foot will feel and absorb all the pressure of supporting your body.
- Weight: The more you weight the more pressure this tissue is absorbing when you walk or perform any physical activity.
- Type of Activities: If you are new to exercising or are performing high-impact exercises like dancing, running or sports more frequently, you are more likely to hurt your plantar fascia.
- Age: Unfortunately, just like your eyes start to get worse as you age, so does your feet. Plantar Fasciitis is most common on people 40-60 years old. Their feet simply need extra support at this age to function and distribute weight more properly.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
1. Visit Your Podiatrist: If you feel like it is very severe, a doctor can thoroughly examine your feet and determine if it is in fact plantar fasciitis and not heel spurs causing the pain in your feet. He/she can do x-rays, or even MRIs.There are also injections and other more invasive procedures that a doctor can recommend.
2. Get Custom Orthotics: If the pain is manageable but you just don't want to experience it, custom orthotics are your best bet. They can provide that personalized arch support your feet needs, and help with proper weight distribution to minimize the pressure the bottom of your feet feels.
Your podiatrist can usually refer custom orthotics but they will be much higher than market price. We suggest looking into an online provider like StepsDirect, who can interpret your needs through an online questionnaire and pictures, and ship you a pair of custom insoles directly to your home for a fraction of the cost.
3. Strengthen Your Feet: If you are a person who plays sports, performs high impact physical activities or stands all day at work, you will need to condition your feet. Perform daily stretches, and rest your feet as much a possible on your down time.
Here’s a video from Caroline Jordan, walking you through 3 heel pain exercises that can make you feel better almost instantaneously.
Let us know if you try one of these treatments! Best of Luck on Your Journey to a Pain-Free Life. Our Team at StepsDirect would be happy to answer any questions commented below or via email at email@example.com.
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