Plantar fasciitis is a dull to extreme heel pain caused by strained and inflamed plantar fascia or foot tissue. This tissue is a ligament attached to your heel bone at one side; and at the other side, the tissue spreads and attaches at the base of every toe. When the plantar fascia is overly stretched, small tears can result, and this leads to swelling and pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
In plantar fasciitis, your feet roll in far deeper than necessary whenever you take a step. This pushing or rolling in, called overpronation, can occur for a variety of reasons, such as excessive weight gain, pregnancy, abrupt increase in physical activity, stiff calf muscles and poor body movements. Most commonly though, it can result simply from flat footwear. When you overpronate, your foot arches collapse, thus the strain and pain at the bottom of your foot.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
A shooting pain in the middle of your heel will probably be the most prominent symptom of plantar fasciitis, and it is most often worst in the morning as you take your first few steps. The following are five simple things you can do to manage, if not finally eradicate, plantar fasciitis:
Wear supportive footwear.
Orthopedic shoes or orthotic inserts are an easy and effective way of reestablishing your foot’s natural alignment. According to new research, specially designed footwear can produce concrete benefits for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. Wearing these every single day will actually alleviate the symptoms to a considerable degree.
Do basic stretching regularly.
To keep your calf muscles flexible is to lessen the strain on the plantar fascia. A good exercise would be to stand on the edge of a step and put all your weight on the balls of your feet. Bend your knees and maintain this position for about 30 seconds. Do this up to five five times at a time and it will stretch your calves and Achilles tendon.
Exercise to strengthen your arch.
As you sit barefoot, squeeze your foot as though there was a tiny marble below the ball of your foot. Or you can practice picking a few marbles up between your toes and ball of your foot, then put them down and pick them up again. This stretches and adds strength to those muscles below your metatarsals (the bone that forms the foot’s arch).
Be more physically active (but gradually).
If you run, a proven method of preventing injuries is to limit your mileage increases by 10% weekly at the most. Same goes for walking.
Apply ice and rest.
After stretching, roll a frozen water bottle below your foot arch for 15 straight minutes. Your recovery will be much better if you wear special footwear that brings back your feet’s natural alignment, hence reducing foot tissue strain while you continue to move as normal during the day.