What is Plantar Fasciitis?
You know you have Plantar Fasciitis when you feel pain in your foot, just below the heel, when you stand up in the morning. The pain can also surface when you stand up after long periods of sitting down. In more severe cases, you might feel pain in your foot when moving about. However, the pain from Plantar Fasciitis is different from a foot fracture or other more serious issues, as the main usually decreases as you limber up.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of feeling pain, but it is fairly easy to treat if done correctly. It is the result of the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs lengthwise at the bottom of your foot and connects your toes to your heel.
Under regular circumstances, your plantar fascia is very flexible, and it is able to absorb shock and support your foot. However, repetitive stretching and impact on the fascia will cause micro-tears that will lead to inflammation of the fascia. When this happens, it is important to treat it to prevent any permanent damage to the fascia. If left untreated, the pain could worsen and become a permanent problem.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having plantar fasciitis. This is because the increased body weight places more strain on the plantar fascia as you move around, and this strain will cause it to get inflammed. Sudden gains of weight can also cause it.
However, active people are also able to be affected. Plantar Fasciitis is particularly common among runners and athletes involved in significant amounts of movement on foot. If you work in an active job that requires long hours on the feet, you might also be at risk. Examples are waiters and waitresses, factory workers, or security guards.
Faulty Foot/Movement Mechanics
Most cases of Plantar Fasciitis can be traced back to faulty foot mechanics. It can sometimes be an imbalance in muscles, or wearing shoes without proper arch support, but ultimately, repeated excessive strain on the plantar fascia will cause it to be irritated or inflammed, causing the pain of Plantar Fasciitis.
The problem could also be caused by imbalanced movement mechanics, like having a lopsided gait. Sometimes, a tight Achilles Tendon, or tight calf muscles can also strain the plantar fascia unnecessarily.
If you are unable to fix your foot and movement mechanics, it is recommended for you to seek a specialist for advice.
The first thing to do when you have plantar fasciitis is to rest your feet. Do not participate in strenuous activities, and limit the time spent on your feet.Wear shoes with good arch support. This will reduce the strain on the plantar fascia.
Apart from these, here’re some things you can do to speed up the restoration of your fascia.
Towel Stretch: Grab any tower you have, sit on the floor, and pull the top of your feet with the towel. Hold for 30 seconds.
Sit on your heels in the position shown above. Stretch the bottom of your feet.
This has almost the same effect as the above exercise. Stand on the edge of a lifted platform and push your weight downwards. The aim is to stretch the plantar fascia.
If you feel that your plantar fascia is causing too much pain, this is a good solution. Freeze a bottle of water, and run your weight over the bottle. You can either sit on a chair or do it standing up. The cold from the frozen water can help to reduce the pain, as well as alleviate the inflammation of the fascia.
Another way is to use a golf ball to roll along the bottom of your foot. Use the golf ball to massage your fascia gently.
Any of the above treatment methods can help to cure your plantar fasciitis. Make sure that you do not overdo the therapy and worsen your inflammation.