Do you suffer from foot pain? So often we take our feet for granted! Having healthy feet is very important – besides the fact that all of our body’s nerve endings are in our feet, we need to have healthy, pain free feet in order to accomplish all of our daily tasks. There are many reasons for foot issues and foot pain. Plantar Fasciitis seems to be fairly common and it is an issue that I have been researching. Here’s what I’ve found out…
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition caused by a swollen, inflamed or weakened plantar fascia – the flat ligament or tissue that connects your toes to your heel bone. The pain is felt on the bottom of the foot and/or the heel when walking or standing. This condition is more common in people over 50, although it can also happen in younger people who spend a lot of time on their feet.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot. Straining the fascia will cause small tears in it. It can also cause the fascia to separate from the heel bone leading to pain, swelling and inflammation. There are several possible causes for the problem:
- Poor quality footwear that doesn’t support the arch of the foot, including flip-flops.
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Standing, walking or running on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
- Tight muscles around the heel or in the calf area.
- Flat feet or high arches.
- Being overweight, which puts a lot of pressure on the feet.
- Walking or running with most of the weight on the inside of the feet (pronation).
What are the symptoms?
Here are some common symptoms of plantar fasciitis (Note: it is best to seek a clear diagnosis from your medical professional):
- Pain is in the heel area or on the bottom of one or both feet when walking or standing. It can be experienced as stabbing pain, throbbing pain or general soreness – or it can be all three at various times.
- The pain goes away during the night but returns as soon as you stand up or walk after getting out of bed in the morning.
- The pain gets better after taking the first few steps in the morning, but gradually becomes worse as the day goes on.
- The pain increases when standing for long periods of time, particularly when standing on hard surfaces.
What can be done about Plantar Fasciitis?
The pain generally does not go away on its own, but gets worse with time. There are a number of things that can be done to alleviate the problem, although not every solution works for everyone. Here are some ideas that could possibly help:
- Reduce the amount of time you spend standing on your feet or walking, especially on hard surfaces.
- Exercises that stretch the muscles in the heel area and the calf area and/or exercises that strengthen the muscles in the bottom of the foot.
- Apply ice to your foot (or feet) to reduce the swelling and/or inflammation.
- Make sure you wear shoes that fit well and support the arches of your feet.
- Get custom orthotics or special insoles for your shoes, to help take the pressure off the plantar fascia ligament, and support the arch of the foot (to be worn in both shoes, not just one).
Some of the choices we make daily in our diet and lifestyle can be helpful to either avoid foot problems or help alleviate them if they occur. It can be helpful to reach and maintain a healthy body weight so we are not putting undue pressure on our feet. Choosing to include some foot exercises in our daily or weekly exercise and fitness routine can also be beneficial.
Do you have some annoying health issues that are starting to crop up in your life? Are they slowing you down? Are you interested in reaching your health goals and having the BEST health ever? Contact me to get started!
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