Is plantar fasciitis causing you problems?

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition of the foot, in which the plantar fascia has become stretched or inflamed. The plantar fascia is a thick, band of connective tissue that runs from the bottom of the heel to the ball of the foot. If this tissue stretches too much, tears can develop resulting in scar tissue as it tries to heal.

How do I know if I have Plantar Fasciitis?

If you have plantar fasciitis, you are probably experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in your foot near the bottom of the heel or along the arch
  • Pain experienced is often worse when first standing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time
  • Pain may be worse when you first start to run and lessen as the tissue relaxes
  • Pain may return after running or walking for extended periods of time
  • Your arch may have dropped or become flat

Plantar Fasciitis

Why did this happen to me?

Usually too much stress on the plantar fascia causes it to overstretch and tear. A number of factors can cause this condition:

  • Flat feet causing overpronation
  • Weak or tight muscles in the foot
  • Over-training
  • Tight calf muscles or tight Achilles Tendons
  • A rapid gain in weight
  • Worn or incorrect shoes
  • Transitioning too quickly to minimalist shoes

What treatments are available?

If you suspect you have Plantar Fasciitis, you should stop running or reduce the amount of training depending on the severity of your condition. Common sense rules!

Try icing the area to help reduce the inflammation and/or use an anti-inflammatory. Wear a Strassburg Sock while you sleep to keep the plantar fascia from constricting and becoming tight overnight.

Self-massage the plantar fascia to help it relax. Taping the arch can be helpful in reducing the pain. Physiotherapy may also help. Do stretching exercises for your calves and feet. The following exercises may help:

  • Try picking up objects with your toes: socks, marbles, etc.
  • Do toe pulls - grab a towel with your toes and pull it towards you
  • Foot stretch - sit with one foot on your opposite knee. Grab your toes and front part of your foot with the palm of your hand. Pull the foot toward you in a manner in which you can feel the foot stretching.
  • Place a golf ball on the floor and roll your foot back and forth over the ball. You will feel the plantar fascia stretching.

In more extreme cases, a physician may recommend a cortisone injection to quickly reduce the inflammation. However, this should only be used in severe cases as there are possible side affects when using these injections in the heel area.

As with all injuries, it is best to try to prevent them before they occur. Use body awareness to help correct any deficiencies in your running posture and to ensure your body's movements are relaxed and flowing without any constrictions.

Related articles:

Cure for Plantar Fasciitis
Injury Recovery Products




Back to How to Prevent Injuries

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