When you get out of bed in the morning and and have pain in your arch or heel after stepping on the floor, you may have plantar fasciitis. The pain is in the middle of the heel or along the arch. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the tissue (which is called planter fascia) connecting the heel bone to the toes. The pain is like a “stabbing” pain but slowly goes away once your foot has warmed up. However, after sitting or standing for a long period of time, the pain may return.
The reason the pain is obvious and severe in the morning because the foot is trying to heal itself in a contracted position overnight. The first step causes sudden strain on the bottom of the foot.
Under normal circumstances, plantar fascia is like a shock absorbing bowstring supporting arch in your foot. If tension becomes too great, it create small tear in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing may cause the fascia to become inflamed.
Who may get plantar fasciitis:
- Runners, ballet dancer, aerobics dancers and hill climbers commonly suffer from plantar fasciitis. People who neglect to stretch their calf muscles often suffer from plantar fasciitis.
- Runners who run on hard surfaces (asphalt or concrete)
- People who are overweight.
- Those who wear shoes with inadequate support
- Factory workers, teachers, sales promoters and others who spend most of their work hours standing or walking on hard surfaces.
- Elderly (age 60 and above)
Here are the remedies:
- As short term remedy, apply ice. Cover ice pack with cloth and hold it over the affected pain area for 15 minutes. Do it few times a day until you feel better as it will reduce inflammation and pain.
- Do heel and foot muscle stretches like below. These exercises stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
- Achilles Tendon Stretch: Stand with your affected foot behind your healthy one. Point the toes of the back foot toward the heel of the front foot, and lean into a wall. Bend the front knee and keep the back knee straight, heel firmly planted on the floor. Hold for a count of 10.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit down, and place the affected foot across your knee. Using the hand on your affected side, pull your toes back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Run your thumb along your foot–you should feel tension. Hold for a count of 10.
- To strengthen arch muscles, place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes and pull it toward you. Repeat with your other foot.
- Maintain a healthy weight. You can minimize stress on your plantar fascia.
- Wear shoes with good arch support and shock absorbency as well as cushioned sole.
- If you are a runner, replace your old running shoes as they may have stopped supporting your feet. Rule of thumb, get a new pair of shoes after clocking 500 miles.
- If you have frequent occurrence with plantar fasciitis, instead of running, you may want to try other “feet friendly” sports which are low impact to your feet. Try swimming, cycling or using elliptical machine in the gym.
- Do not go barefoot, even if you are at home. Wear indoor sandal until you are fully recovered.
For ladies, avoid high heels.
If you like this or other articles in this blog, Subscribe to MunFitnessBlog.com today. It is free.
Scroll down to leave a comment. I really want to know what you think.