If you are sick of foot pain then here is a quick guide about how to deal with the most common cause of foot pain plantar fasciitis!
If you have pain in heel of foot when walking it is probably thanks to Plantar fasciitis, which is when you have inflammation of your plantar fascia in the arch of your foot. Usually when you have plantar fasciitis you will have a sharp pain in the arch of your foot that is usually most acute when you are first thing in the morning or right after a period of rest.
Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot injury that affects about 1 in 10 people. A lot of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis are between 40-60 years old., but having said that, plantar fasciits can develop at any age if you do not look after your feet properly.
The plantar fascia is a stretchy ligament that stretches supports your arch and connects your heel bone to the toes. It also works like a form of shock absorber for your foot. Plantar fasciitis causes the plantar fascia to thicken and become inflamed.
Persistant and abrupt shock, or strain too the plantar fascia over several months or even years, can result in tiny tears to develop on the plantar fascia. These small tears on the plantar fascia can then lead to the plantar fascia becoming weakened and inflamed resulting in foot and heel pain.
The most common causes of plantar fasciitis
A variety of things may bring about plantar fasciitis.
*Age. Plantar fasciitis is the majority of people who get plantar fasciitis tend to be between 40-60 years old. As we age the ligaments and tendons in our feet become less flexible and stretchy and more prone to tearing.
*Gender. Although men can certainly develop plantar fasciitis, its is actually a lot more more common for women to get it.
If you do a lot of exercise which puts stress onto your heel and arch such long-distance running, long jumping, or even dancing – may increase your chances of inflaming the plantar fascia and getting plantar fasciitis.;
*Spending several hours on your feet all day especially standing for long periods on hard surfaces.
*You are overweight. Being overweight can cause excessive load and pressure on your arches
*Your suffer from a biomechanical imbalances such as having flat feet or abnormally high arch.
Suffering from a leg length discrepancy.
*Having tight Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is connected to your plantar fascia so having a tight Achilles tendons can cause the plantar fascia to also become tight increasing your chances of over stretching it.
Its very painful
If you have got plantar fasciitis the pain in your feet is often very sharp and tender to touch, this pain usually circulates underneath your heel. Heel pain is often worse when putting your body weight onto your feet following long periods of rest.
Foot and heel pain from plantar fasciitis typically worsens overtime if the underlining causes of the fasciitis are not treated over time.
If the underlining causes are treated then the pain should ease overtime. The plantar fascia tissue, heal relatively slowly so it could take many months to heal completely. There are a number of treatments though that can help to speed up your recovery.
Treatments you can try
Generally the best thing that you can do is to start wearing shoes which are suitable for your feet and day-to-day activities.
If you are an athlete or do a lot of running and wear running or sport shoes it is advised that you regularly replace your shoes as running and physical activity can quickly wear out your shoes and reduce the support that the shoes provide leaving you vulnerable to plantar fasciiits.
Simply wearing high heels on the occasional night out is extremely unlikely to be damaging to your feet, but having said that, wearing all the time can damage your feet, especially should your job require you to do plenty of walking around or standing around for long periods of time.
The ideal shoes to wear would be ones that have a reasonable heel which supports and cushions the arches of your feet. You should not wear flat shoes.
You should not walk on hard surfaces barefoot, more often than not people who get heel pain tend to get it on holiday when they suddenly started walking around barefoot or in a pair of sandals. This is because their feet simply are not used to the extra pressure that this creates!
Rest your feet and try not to put any weight onto them
You should try to rest your feet as much as you can. Refrain from running, going for long walks or standing for long periods of time.
You should not walk barefoot on hard surfaces. You should always make sure that you wear shoes that have got cushioned heels and provide your feet with good arch support. Make sure that you avoid steer clear of ill fitted or old or worn-out shoes.
Insoles for plantar fasciitis
Orthotic Insoles are by far one of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis and are often the first thing physiotherapists will recommend. Orthotics are different to normal insoles, normal insoles do not cushion your feet properly nor do they correct biomechanical imbalances that are causing your fasciitis.
Orthotics however help to re-align and support your feet feet, ankles and lower legs.
Orthotic insoles also help to correct gait and the way our feet shift weight when we walk. A lot of of individuals have got fairly a normal-looking arches whilst sitting or even standing. but when we walk effect of our body weight bearing down on our arches can flatten them and cause excessive strain on them. Orthotics help to improve the support to our arches and prevent this stress from occurring, letting the inflamed plantar fascia to heal as well as stopping any more damage or tearing of the plantar fascia.
You do not have to spend a lot on orthotics for them to work. A detailed study carried out by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society discovered that by using off the shelf insoles as well as doing regular foot stretches can have a big impact, 95% of people in the study that did this experienced a huge reduction in their foot pain as a result!
You can buy several different pads and insoles to support the heel and arch of your foot. Inserts function the most effectively if you wear them inside your shoes constantly and never take them out.
Heel lifts can also help with plantar fasciitis by slightly realigning your heel to the correct position which should relieve pressure off the plantar fascia. The goal should be to elevate your heel by around 1 cm (Many heel lifts use a stack system which allow you to quickly and easily adjust the layers on them to find the right height that you need, heel lifts can also be used to increase your height!). If you have a painful and sore heel you can cut a tiny hole on the heel pad where your pain is so that the sensitive part of your heel is not actually touching anything inside your shoe. Remember you should always place inserts into both of your shoes so you not create a leg length discrepancy.
Painkillers like paracetamol can help to mask the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis but will not get rid of it. In some cases anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also help. anti-inflammatory can sometimes help to lessen inflammation and can sometimes do the job significantly better than regular painkillers. A few individuals see that massaging a cream or gel which has an anti-inflammatory in it helps to.
Placing an ice pack on the affected area can help to reduce swelling and ease pain. You should hold an ice pack to your foot around 5-20 each day until the inflammation is is gone.
What you should avoid!
Using corticosteroid injections is not a good idea when treating plantar fasciitis. This is because corticosteroid injections raise the possibility of further damaging the plantar fascia or wrecking the your foots protective fat pad. surgery should also be avoided and only used as a last result. Surgery involves cutting the plantar fascia and can often cause the degeneration of the medial arch and the arch collapsing .
Frequent, mild stretching of the Achilles tendon and/or plantar fascia can also ease your plantar fasciitis. A tight Achilles tendon can cause the Achilles to pull the plantar fascia back and make plantar fascia tight as well. Furthermore, while you’re sleeping at night, the plantar fascia can tighten up. Stretches can help to get rid of any tightness in the Achilles tendon. If you are unsure of what stretches to o you should seek ask your doctor of physiotherapist for advice.
Wear a night splint when you go to sleep
Wearing a night splint which will lengthen the calf muscles whilst you sleep can also really help. Research has shown that, extreme tightness in the calf muscles can leads to lifting of the heel, which in turn puts stress onto the plantar fascia. Wearing a night splint whilst you sleep can stop your calf muscles becoming tight and stop the strain that this produces from damaging your plantar fascia.
If these things didnt do the trick then check out this great article from webmd for more treatments.
Plantar fasciitis is a very nasty injury and if left untreated it can become really hard to get rid of as the plantar fascia becomes more and more weakened, that is why it is vital that as soon as you know you have it that you do something about it! In my opinion insoles are the best way with helping to treat this condition because insoles are the only things that will correct biomechanical imbalances and stop it from coming back!