Written by Mélis.
Plantar fasciitis is an orthopedic disease on the sole of the foot near the heel. It occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the thickened tissue that connects your heel to front of your foot, becomes inflamed. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain at the bottom of the heel. However, patients can also feel pain at the bottom of mid-foot area.
Plantar fascia is an important tissue related to foot health. It helps absorb shocks and support the arch of your foot. If there is too much stress on the plantar fascia, it loses its elasticity and causes uncomfortable pain. Generally, the pain begins with your first few steps in the morning and gradually increases after long period of walking or standing. Although the exact cause of plantar fasciitis is still unknown, there are some factors that can increase the risk of developing this issue. They include the following:
- Overuse: If you spend long hours on your foot, it causes extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Improper footwear: The choice of shoes with the poor arch support can result in foot pain.
- Excessive weight bearing exercise: High impact exercises such as walking and running for long period of time might aggravate the pain.
- Others: Obesity, tight muscles, back pain and other foot problems such as flat feet or high arches can also cause plantar fasciitis.
How can we protect the plantar fascia and decrease the pain?
- The choice of exercises: If you have already had plantar fasciitis, you should choose low or non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling which do not put so much pressure on the fascia.
- Supportive shoes: Wearing comfortable shoes with proper arch support protects the plantar fascia.
- Use orthotic insoles: Depends on where you feel your pain on your foot, you can find the right insole which will decrease the pain and support the arch. (Call us for an appointment for your insoles!)
- Using ice bottles: Gently rolling the ice bottle under your foot will reduce inflammation.
- Stretching calf muscles: Plantar fascia is connected to calf muscles though Achilles tendon. So, stretching these muscles reduces the pressure on the plantar fascia.
It is important to mention that ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain that impedes your daily activities. Starting a conservative treatment with the right management can prevent you from severe and unrecoverable pain. To get the right diagnose and the treatment, our well-trained physiotherapists are here to help you. Feel free to contact us for any questions!
Note that these tips may not apply to everyone’s condition. Call us for a physiotherapy appointment or book online!
Resource: Physitrack APP