Plantar fasciitis is that sharp heel pain you feel when your plantar fascia, or foot tissue, is strained and inflamed. The tissue is specifically a ligament, where one side is attached to the base of your every toe, and the other side is attached to your heel bone. When the plantar fascia is overly stretched, small tears can result, and this leads to swelling and pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis occurs when your feet roll in too far as you take a step. There are various reasons you would push or roll your your feet exceedingly in (known as overpronation), from a sudden increase in physical activity to pregnancy to poor body mechanics and more. Usually though, it is due to using flat, unsupportive footwear. With overpronation, your foot arches crash, hence straining the tissues found under your foot.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most telling symptoms of plantar fasciitis is that sharp pain at the center of your heel, most especially as you wake up in the morning and take your first few steps. Below are five tips to help prevent or control plantar fasciitis:
Wear the right shoes.
The only way to treat plantar fasciitis is to restore your foot’s natural alignment, and this you can do with the help of orthopedic shoes or orthotic inserts. 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.
Stretching your calf muscles increases their flexibility, which in turn reduces the strain on your foot tissue. An effective way to do it channeling your entire weight on the balls of your feet while standing on the edge of a step. Bend your knees and keep in that position for around half a minute. Do five repetitions each time to stretch those calves and Achilles tendon.
Exercise to strengthen your arch.
Sit without any footwear on and squeeze your foot while imagining a tiny marble under the ball of your foot. Or you can try using your toes to pick up a number of marbles on the floor, put them back and then repeat. This adds strength and flexibility to those muscles below your metatarsals (the bone that gives your foot an arched form).
Slowly increase your physical activity.
If you’re a runner, a good way to prevent injuries is to make sure you don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% at a time. It’s the same thing for walking.
Apply ice and rest.
After doing some mild stretching, get a frozen water bottle and roll it under your foot arch for about 15 minutes. Recovery comes better when you wear special shoes that help restore the natural alignment of your feet, which alleviates strain on your foot tissue while still letting you move throughout the day.