If you feel pain when your feet touch the ground you could have plantar fasciitis
for starters, let’s get things off the ground in determining exactly what plantar fasciitis is
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue located from heel to toe on the bottom of the foot known as ‘fascia’ becomes overstretched which causes small tears to appear on the surface of the skin. Pain and inflammation occur as a result. Fascia tissue supports the muscles and the arches of the feet. Arch supports are often worn to alleviate this condition.
Doctors once believed that the pain experienced from plantar fasciitis was due to a condition known as heel spurs. However, they since discovered that heel spurs are the result of but not the cause of the pain.
Relieving plantar fasciitis: top tips from top to toe
What causes plantar fasciitis?
While it is found to be more common in women than men, the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis is influenced by factors such as:
- Age: the risk increases with age
- Spending several hours a day on one’s feet increases the likelihood that plantar fasciitis may appear
- Weight factors: those who are overweight are at higher risk
You may also be at risk if:
· You have flat feet
· You have very high arches
· You wear shoes lacking in good foot support
· As a woman, you regularly wear very high heeled shoes
· Your Achilles tendons are tight (a condition also known as “heel cords”)
· Your walking or “gait” is irregular
· Trauma to one or both feet
· You maintain an irregular position in one or both feet
· Prior to engaging in exercise or sports activities, you fail to warm up properly
· You experience significant changes in running surfaces
How will I know if I have plantar fasciitis?
A morning wake-up call
Many people claim that they start to feel pain when they first wake up in the morning. In a sense, this is a ‘morning wake-up call’ to the fact that they have plantar fasciitis. Often people experience discomfort and pain in the affected areas when first getting out of bed to walk to the bathroom for instance. Certain individuals also experience a stiffness in those areas.
Often, when walking, the pain may gradually subside; but appears to return when one stops moving around.
Again, certain individuals appear to experience very little relief at all.
Still, pain may kick in post prolonged periods of standing or engaging in sports or exercise but is not felt during the actual workout sessions.
Top 5 tips from top to toe on how to manage plantar fasciitis:
So, what can one do to manage plantar fasciitis?
- Apply ice to the affected areas. One can also roll the foot over a frozen bottle of water to enable relief.
- Wear supportive footwear. Lace-up shoes or running shoes are a tremendous help.
- Try taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. This is a short-term method of obtaining temporary relief.
- Try wearing shoe inserts such asarch supports. Available on request from Roger Wolfson.
- Avoid exercise and sports activities that put too much pressure or strain on the feet until symptoms lessen. It is not necessary to give up exercise and sports activities altogether, rather, appropriate changes in routine are what is needed.
- Regularly stretch the feet. This is also effective when performed prior to getting out of bed in the mornings.