Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when the thick tissue at the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed.
This tissue is known as the plantar fascia. Obesity, foot arch problems, and long-distance running can put a person at risk for developing this condition.
PF affects men and women equally. This condition can occur at any age. However, it is important to note that plantar fasciitis usually develops in people who are between the ages of 40 and 70.
What Are Some of The Signs of Plantar Fasciitis?
Pain at the bottom of the heel is one of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis. This pain has a tendency to get worse after one climbs the stairs or sits for a long period of time.
The pain may also develop very slowly.
What Happens If PF Is Left Untreated?
The pain of plantar fasciitis has a tendency to get worse if it is left untreated. This pain can become so severe that it can interfere with one’s ability to complete daily tasks.
What Are Some Things That Can Be Done to Treat PF?
In most cases, PF can be treated with home remedies. Over-the-counter medications, such as Tynelol and Advil, can alleviate the pain of this condition. A health care provider may also recommend that the patient wear night splints while sleeping.
Additionally, people need to make sure that they rest as much as possible for at least a week. If a patient does not respond to home treatment, then he or she may be required to have surgery.
What Can Be Done to Prevent PF?
One of the best things that people can do to prevent this condition is to wear shoes that have good cushioning and arch support.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The “plantar fascia” is a tendon on the underside of the foot that runs between the toes and heel bone, forming and supporting the arch of the foot. When injured, the heel or bottom of the foot can swell and becomes sore when walking or standing, especially on hard surfaces.
PF is progressive and should be promptly addressed, as it can lead to further foot damage; if ignored, surgery may eventually be necessary.
This condition is most common among the aged, but athletes, those suffering from obesity or who have experienced a rapid weight gain, and anyone constantly on their feet is at risk. Though it is more likely to occur in active men, ages 40 – 70, women are also susceptible, particularly those who are expecting.
Though generally found in one foot, PF can affect both feet at once. Tenderness, swelling, and redness may center around the heel or the entire underside of the foot. Depending on whether the tendon is strained from overuse or has been torn, symptoms might set in gradually or crop up suddenly, and associated pain is usually more stabbing than a dull ache.
The most typical sign is foot pain when getting out of bed in the morning. The stiff, tightened tendon may gradually loosen and become less painful after moving around for a while, but some experience pain that continues to amplify throughout the day; pain strictly at night may be a symptom of another condition, such as arthritis.
During the day, pain may be noticeable after standing or sitting for a time, after athletic activities, and when using stairs.
One of the major causes of plantar fasciitis is overworking the foot while wearing ill-fitting shoes.
To lessen the risk of this painful condition, anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet and those who have flat feet or high arches should wear footwear specially crafted to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis. In many cases, the combination of stretching, exercises, and proper footwear with good cushioning and arch support can eliminate pain completely.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
As with any injury, the process to treat this injury should begin with applying ice, resting your feet, and over-the-counter medications.
Many people use the aid of night splints for treating this injury. These splints are worn at night or while you sleep, they assist to keep the plantar fascia stretched to generate healing.
Physical therapy is also used to treat this condition. A therapist will work with you by administering a variety of exercises to help start with the healing process.
Calf stretches are good at alleviating or preventing plantar fasciitis. Stretching your calf muscles prevents them from tightening, leading to injury. This simple exercise can be helpful in reducing foot and ankle strain.
Begin by leaning against a wall using both hands and keep them at eye level. Put your legs into a stride stance, moving the uninjured leg into a forward position, slightly bent at the knee.
The back leg should remain behind and straight. Firmly place your heel into the ground. Then push slightly against the wall. You should feel your calves pulling somewhat. Maintain this posture for another 30 seconds, then repeat it three times.
Some runners find relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis by taping their foot in such a way as to prevent the plantar from stretching. The goal for the next few weeks is to walk as little as possible on it and avoid running completely.
Other runners maintain that the only real treatment is rest. Avoid straining the plantar as much as possible and stop running until it has had a chance to heal.
Many marathon runners have found relief by wearing specially-fitted footwear that is designed specifically for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. One popular choice is New Balance athletic shoes.
These provide high arch support for runners and can significantly alleviate or even prevent plantar fasciitis pain.
Plantar Fascitiis Prevention
Preventing PF is important. There are many options to help prevent this condition and to keep it from reoccurring. A curtail thing to remember is maintaining a healthy weight.
This is important to help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. Also, footwear plays an important role, make sure that they fit properly and are in good condition. New Balance shoes are a great choice.
They provide enough support and cushioning throughout the arch, heel, and ball of the foot so that your weight is distributed evenly throughout your entire foot.
The price for a par of New Balance footwear specialized for sufferers of this painful condition varies.
There are several conditions that can increase the pain of plantar fasciitis, including obesity, rapid weight gain, having a job that requires you to stand on hard surfaces for a good portion of the day, an inactive lifestyle, and wearing footwear that provides no or very little arch support.
Fortunately, you have the ability to control most of these factors and can take immediate steps to help lessen the pain in your heels.
Choosing The Right Pair of Shoes
When choosing a new pair of sneakers, be sure to look for ones with extra cushioning and shock absorption that will help to lessen or eliminate the pain of PF. New Balance is a particular brand of shoe that has created footwear just for the purpose of assisting with this painful foot condition.
They are well padded and provide an extra layer of protection between your foot and hard flooring surfaces.
Many medical professionals agree that certain cases of plantar fasciitis occur due to ill-fitting footwear. Therefore, it is essential for one to ensure that any shoes worn are comfortable and have adequate space for his or her feet on all sides.
A shoe with a significant arch and a soft heel such as the New Balance Stability Walking Shoe is typically recommended by podiatrists and medical doctors.
The Importance of Arch Support
Shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers should also provide appropriate arch support. Improper arch support can actually lead to PF, so it is particularly important that those already dealing with the condition select footwear with proper support.
Footwear that has insufficient support can also lead to back problems, even in those who are not suffering from PF.
Plantar fasciitis walking shoes should be flat and feature adequate heel support. It is important that the shoes selected do not bend the foot in the wrong places. This is because those suffering from plantar fasciitis have a tendency to try to “walk around the pain” by unconsciously twisting their feet into odd positions. Therefore, footwear that promotes this type of activity should be avoided.
Running is an activity in which the body’s entire weight is borne by the feet, just as with walking; however, it is multiplied by speed and the force of gravity. It is for this reason plantar fasciitis running shoes have extra padding and additional arch support.
The shoes must also fit precisely without extra room on either side, as this will result in the individual having to tense his or her feet in an unhealthy way in order to keep them from sliding around inside the shoe.
Regardless of the unfortunate presence of plantar fasciitis, taking a little extra time when shopping for shoes will assist a person in decreasing the level of his or her pain.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight and Stay Active
Another way you can help your feet to feel better is by losing weight if you are overweight and maintaining an active lifestyle. Besides shoes, research has shown that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are the biggest contributors to PF.
PF Can Be Worsened By Obesity
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that is found at the bottom of the foot. It also connects the toes to the heel bone. This tissue creates the foot arch. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed. Obesity is one of the many risk factors for PF. The excess weight puts extra pressure on the plantar fascia.
Pain in the bottom of the heel is one of the main symptoms associated with PF. Plantar fasciitis typically only affects one foot, but it may also affect both feet. This pain has a tendency to worsen in the morning after a person has taken his or her first steps. Standing in one position for a long time can also worsen the pain of PF.
PF can make walking and other activities very painful. The good news is that most people get better within a few months of treatment. Corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate the pain and inflammation of this condition.
Physical therapy, orthotics, and night splints are some of the other treatments that may be recommended for a person who has plantar fasciitis.
If a patient does not respond to conventional treatments, then surgery may be the only option. The doctor will surgically detach the heel bone from the plantar fascia. Surgery can potentially weaken the foot arch, which is why it is performed after all other treatments have failed.
One of the things that people can do to prevent PF is to maintain a healthy weight. PF can also be prevented by buying supportive shoes. If you are looking for a good pair of supportive shoes, then you should consider buying New Balance footwear. New Balance shoes can also benefit people who have already been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
Pain Relief And Reducing Pain For Runners
Plantar Fasciitis in a word is “painful” and limits walking and sports activities. It is caused by stress on the plantar fascia of the foot. Small tears develop along the connective tissue of the arch. This causes inflammation and pain often occurring in the heel of the foot.
The pain is worse in the morning after sleeping, long periods of weight bearing, and prolonged activity. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to progressive damage to the foot including heel spurs.
Runners and in particular marathon runners have a real challenge ahead of them preparing for a marathon while suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Good supportive footwear is key, and the New Balance with a soft cushioned heel, a pressure relief insert, and significant arch support goes a long way in helping the runner cope with plantar fasciitis pain. Supportive sneakers need to be worn all of the time to support the arch and cushion the heel.
At night, the Strassburg sock, a type of night splint, helps decrease the pain in the morning for those first few steps of the day. Runners recommend soaking the foot in ice water four times a day or rolling the foot on a frozen bottle of ice.
Ibuprofen helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Runners need to rest their feet for one to one and a half weeks to help heal the foot.
Stretches, arch exercises, and hip flexor stretch help with pain and healing. Some runners roll the foot over a tennis or golf ball to stretch out the foot.