What is Plantar Fasciitis?
In short, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the sole of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes. With the calf muscle it creates a mechanism around the back of the heel that helps maintain the arch of your foot.
Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot.
If tension and stress on that bowstring become too great, small tears can arise in the fascia.
Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed, though in many cases of plantar fasciitis, the cause isn’t clear.
Causes and Preventions
Normally for most things the best cure is prevention.
For most cases there is usually no underlying reason for plantar fasciitis.
However, it is quite often associated with having a tight calf muscle.
Regularly stretch your calf muscles, standing calf stretch and downward dog yoga pose are some common and effective calf stretches. Click To Tweet
If you don’t have them already invest in a foam roller and a massage stick.
As examples, something on the higher end like the FasciaBlaster works wonders, but at a lower price stick rollers like the Sportneer Muscle Roller can still do the job.
Foam rolling, and self-myofascial release have become very popular and rolling the calf is no different.
From rumble to smooth, from soft to firm there are many varieties of foam rollers to choose from.
Every individual will be different but the two I own are smooth/firm and a medium/rumble roller, find the foam roller that best fits what you need.
Another factor that can put you at a greater risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis is extended periods of standing, which is where it got the nickname“policeman’s heel”.
Obviously, taking breaks to limit the amount of time you are on your feet is optimal.
If you have a job or partake in an activity that requires you being on your feet for an extended period and sitting down is not an option, there is a few things you can do to help.
Choose shoes with good support, wear inserts in your shoes, and in addition get some compression socks.
What doesn’t being overweight or obese, make you a risk factor for?
The extra unhealthy pounds put a lot of pressure on the heel in everyday life.
A sudden gain in body weight especially is strongly linked with plantar fasciitis.
If you are reading this on Sushi Fitness, there are many articles to discover weight loss and exercise programs to help you out.
You can also registerif you haven’t already and create a post about what your goals are, and odds are many of our readers will be happy to give suggestions and help.
You can also contact us, and we can point you in the right direction and help provide you answers and support.
Exercises and Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel.
Long-distance running, jumping activities, and certain types of dancing for example can contribute to causing plantar fasciitis.
Add or supplement with more low-impact exercises in your exercise routine, like swimming or cycling.
After you’re done, stretch out your calves and feet and don’t forget to use a foam roller or stick roller.
Don’t go barefoot on hard surfaces, including your first few steps when you get up in the morning.
If You Are Already Feeling The Pain
Luckily the majority of cases will respond and get better from stretching treatments and this will be enough to treat the syndrome.
However, it can take 6-12 months for your foot to get back to normal and in rare cases surgery may be needed if initial treatments have not worked.
The easiest thing you can do is rest & Ice.
Keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes down and use ice to help speed up the process.
Invest in night splints, they are an excellent treatment for plantar fasciitis, but their bulkiness can be cumbersome and difficult to get used to for some people.
Another simple trick if you sleep on your back can be to untuck your bed sheets before you go to sleep.
If Your Pain Is Severe And You See no Signs Of Improvement
Don’t hesitate to visit a podiatrist who will talk to you about your symptoms and examine your foot and ankle.
They will conduct examinations to exclude other potential sources of pain and be sure of the diagnosis.
This might include X-rays to assess the bones, and occasionally an ultrasound or a MRI may also be needed, especially in chronic cases.