Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced: plantar-fa-shee-eye-tis) is a common condition causing heel pain. The pain is felt under the heel or the entire sole of the foot. The heel pain is more prominent on waking up and the pain diminishes after taking the first few steps. This condition may be debilitating for some, making it difficult to be on your feet all day long.
Could the pain you feel, be plantar fasciitis?
Initially, heel pain starts mildly and may be recurrent. Gradually the pain may increase and appears every morning. Look out for the following symptoms by answering true or false:
- My heel is the tenderest part of the foot True/False
- My pain is worse on waking up True/False
- My pain gets better after walking a few steps True/False
- My pain causes me to limp True/False
- My pain increases on long standing hours True/False
- My pain increases after exercise True/False
- My pain came after my weight increased True/False
- My pain is chronic and it may be on and off True/False
If most of your answers were true, you must get help and please do not continue to ignore.
What may have caused Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a strong stretchy ligament starting from the heel up to the ball of the foot. It is designed to bear your weight and support the spring action as you walk and run. However, this Plantar Fascia can get injured by:
- Wrong foot alignment: Flat feet or high arches both can cause it. Hence gait assessment may be important to relieve your pain.
- Standing for long hours may put excessive pressure on the ligament.
- Lack of calf stretch/ proper warm up before workouts.
- Worn-out footwear.
- A sudden increase in weight also puts excessive pressure on the ligament.
- Ageing can cause loss of elasticity in the ligament, thus causing heel pain.
What can you do to treat your pain?
Plantar Fasciitis can be treated majorly by non-invasive methods. Following a few simple tips help you in getting relief from your pain.
- Rest: Spend part of the day seated so that the pressure is relieved off your ligament, especially if you spend most of your day standing or walking.
- Ice: Use cold packs on sole of foot/most painful region of your foot for 20 minutes, 3-4 times a day to bring down the inflammation.
- Stretching: Stretch your calf twice a day and hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
- Footwear: Avoid being barefoot at all times. If footwear is worn out, change your footwear. Wear footwear that offers maximum support like sports shoes. Combine this with corrective customised insoles for best results.
- Corrective Insoles: Use customised corrective insoles (Orthotics) on a daily basis to help support the arch and the plantar fascia ligament. This helps in correcting wrong foot alignment and helps improve the performance of activities.