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
Plantar fasciitis happens when your feet are pushed in too deep with every step. There are lots of reasons – pregnancy, excessive weight gain, lack of exercise, etc. – you would develop this tendency to over-pronate or roll your feet in too deep. Most commonly though, it can result simply from flat footwear. Overpronation makes your foot arches flop, which strains the tissues 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. Here are five quick and easy tips for stopping or at least alleviating plantar fasciitis:
Wear supportive 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. If you wear these everyday, you will actually feel the relief.
When you stretch your calf muscles, it becomes more flexible, and that means less strain on your foot tissue. 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 five repetitions each time to stretch those calves and Achilles tendon.
Do strengthening exercises to maintain good arch.
As you sit barefoot, squeeze your foot as though there was a tiny marble below the ball of your foot. Or try picking up a few marbles on the floor using your toes and the ball of your foot, then repeat. This stretches and strengthens the muscles under your metatarsals (the bone that gives an arched shape).
Slowly increase your physical activity.
If you run, you can stay away from injury by avoiding raising your mileage by over 10% every time. Same goes for walking.
Apply ice and rest.
After stretching, roll a frozen water bottle below your foot arch for 15 straight 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.