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What is plantar fasciitis and how to treat it!

In this article we will be looking at plantar fasciitis the most common running injury around and how to treat it using various methods such as wearing insoles and stretching the feet!

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries around and is the number one cause of heel pain! Plantar fasciitis typically affects the sole of the foot but can also affect the arch of the foot as well.

The plantar fascia is the ligament which connects the heel bone to the ball of your foot. The plantar fascia is crucial for your foot to function properly as it supports the arch of your foot and helps to reduce strain on your feet whilst you are standing, walking or running. If this ligament becomes damaged and inflamed small tears may start to appear on the suffice the plantar fascia which can cause the plantar fascia to harden as a defensive response, resulting in foot pain.

Runners can overstretch and damage the plantar fascia when their feet hit the ground as they run, especially in the event that you run wearing hard shoes on concrete, because will be considerably more stress on the foot as the foot hits the ground,” Inflammation may also develop from sudden a increase or change to your usual running regime. Some individuals who have high arches or who run supinate when they run are especially prone to developing plantar fasciitis. You will know if you have plantar fasciitis if you have pain in your heel or arch when you take your first steps in the morning just as you wake up, this is because the plantar fascia stiffens in the night. If plantar fasciits is not treated, it may result in a accumulation of calcium, that can generate a unpleasant and painful bony growth on your heel called a heel spur.

SYMPTOMS?

One of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. Sufferers may also experience pain through out the arch and sole of the foot as well. Pain associated with PF is usually sharp and can make your feet feel burning and aching. Generally the pain develops gradually – i.e. most people believe that the pain will simply go away overtime however it carries on and gets worse. Typically your feet will get more painful the more you use your feet. Pain is often worse when you first place weight on the affected foot, for example , getting out of bed each morning and also standing up following a long period of sitting. The pain may also intensify during the day and/or during long periods of weight bearing for example , standing or walking for a long periods.

The main cause of plantar fasciitis are:

-If you happen to have fairly recently began training on a different surface – such as, running on the road rather on a track.
-If you wear shoes that do not support your arches properly or affect your gait
-Being overweight can cause extra strain on the arches of your feet.
-Overusing or standing for long periods especially on hard surface.
-If you have a tight Achilles tendon. Due to the fact that the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon are both connected having a tight Achilles tendon can cause the plantar fascia to also become tight making you more prone to over stretching it.

HOW CAN I TREAT MY PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Wear proper shoes

Imporper shoes have been proven through medical research to contribute to plantar fasciitis. So, it really is essential to review what shoes you are wearing and, if needed, switch your shoes to a pair that are more better suited to your feet. Shoes ought to be supportive and mustn’t constrict your feet a lot. it is a good idea to wear supportive shoes that have a curved sole that supports your arch properly. Also wear shoes which are not too flexible. Shoe must not be bendable at all around the ball of the foot area and should be stiff and support the arch of the foot.

Insoles for plantar fasciitis

Insoles can also be worn to help reduce shock from damaging your feet when you walk. Insoles can also help to correct biomechanical imbalances such as over pronation or supination which could be causing your plantar fasciitis. Picking the right insoles for your foot type is imperative as picking the wrong sort of insoles can in fact make your plantar fasciitis worse!

Rest your feet as much as you can!

Reducing the load on your feet will give the inflamed plantar fascia chance to heal and you can do this through resting your feet.
Rest your feet and avoid activities that require you to use your feet! Simply walking or standing for long periods can create pressure on your plantar fascia stopping it from properly healing or even worsening your plantar fasciitis. That is why if you suffer from plantar fasciitis and do not rest your feet, the plantar fasciitis might take some time to completely heal, however by minimizing how much you use your feet you will find that your feet will recover faster as a result.

Ice & massage

Massaging the affected foot may help you relieve the symptoms.

You can massage your feet yourself using your fingers or you could use a rolling pin or tennis ball to roll your foot over. You should massage your feet for around five minutes a number of times each day.
Once you have finished massaging your feet you should apply ice to your foot to help reduce swelling. You should apply ice to your feet for around 6-10 minutes.

Stretching:

Research has proven that stretching the foot and ankle can help treat plantar fasciitis. Bear in mind that you are going to have to be patient with stretching. Some individuals experience an instant benefit from stretching, whist for some people it can take a bit more time.

The following exercises can be used to help treat plantar fasciitis:

1. Stand up approximately 40 cm away from a wall and then place your hands onto the wall at around shoulder height, with your feet just a bit away from each other and position one of your feet in front of the other. Bend the knee that is the most forward whilst keeping the back knee as straight as possible and then bend forward to the wall and stretch. When stretching your calf muscle ought to feel tight. Maintain this stretching position for a couple of seconds and then relax. You should carry out this stretch approximately 10 times then swap to your other leg and stretch it in exactly the same way.

2.If your plantar fasciitis has been caused by a tight Achilles tendon this stretch will help to un-tighten the Achilles tendon and hopefully ease some of the tightness and pain in your plantar fascia!
Stand on the bottom step of some stairs with your legs somewhat apart and with your heels just off the end of the step. Slowly lower the heels, continuing to keep your knees as straight as possible. Make sure that you feel the stretch around your calves. Maintain this stretching position for 30-60 seconds. You should repeat this stretch around eight times.

3. Sit down on the ground making sure that your legs are laid out straight in front of you. Wrap a towel around the ball of one of your feet to create resistance and the pull this towel towards you whilst making sure to keep your knees as straight as you can, then stretch your toes in the direction of your nose. You should maintain this stretch for around 30 seconds and do it four times on each foot.

4. With a golf or tennis ball place the ball underneath your arch of your foot and roll the ball gently underneath your foot.

Hope this helps!

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