Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis typically causes stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick, weblike ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It acts as a shock absorber and supports the arch of your foot, helping you walk.The pressure from your heel on the floor causes the thick membrane lining the bottom of your foot to pull against the thickened part of your leg bone (here’s a link to a Wikipedia article explaining why the foot has bones), causing pain.
How to treat Plantar Fasciitis
The best way to manage this condition is to avoid over-stressing the foot and ankle. If the condition persists or gets worse, see a podiatrist or foot & ankle specialist. Depending on the severity of the condition, there is a good chance that it can be treated with a combination of rest, self-myofascial release, compression, physical therapy, and strengthening exercises.
For me, I needed a quick fix. I’d tried the rest, ice, and motion control techniques, but nothing worked. I already had adjustable gliders to help me walk without sinking too much into my heels. Nothing blunt like weights or other rigid objects could get the pressure off my heel and back into my foot.
The plan was basically to “fix” the origin of my PLAN-tur-fas-e-tis. From here, the rest and physical therapy would take care of the rest. Plank training (plant-based exercise combined with stair stepping) seemed like the obvious solution — even though I’ve never been able to complete it successfully. But this was the best choice given that I had virtually no data on how effective it is.
I purchased a pair of heavy duty adjustable gliders from Earthbound Athletic Charcuterie, and after pairing them with an earthproof Moira socks, announced the plan: I was going to do plank walking.
After I received the gliders, I set up my floor space so that I could plank as efficiently as possible.
Easing the Podiatric Pain
After about two weeks, I compared the new alignment of my own foot to the old (before the gliders) — which is easier to do with open feet. I recorded the results in a spreadsheet, and noticed (not surprisingly) that the old heel-tapping assessment was substantially more accurate than my skinfolds in determining where pressure was best applied, so I added fine points to the original plan.
When designing your floor plan, add floor plan points to all the areas your foot can land upon without falling.Dilbert’s Lone Prowler
This adjustment allowed me to organize my floor so that I had anywhere from 6–12 points of pressure applied, depending on the activity. To determine the progression for each week, I calculated the number of points of pressure that I applied the week prior (as when walking) scaled by the number of days in a week.
the most common type of inflammatory process is a digital flexor strain. This happens when the muscles around your ankle become too tight and your toes contract. The chronic pain associated with digital flexor strain usually comes and goes without warning, often being hard to identify.WebMD
Instead of supporting your foot with this digital flexor, your toes become overstretched. This is what makes people say their foot feels like it’s burning.
There are two main causes of this pain.
- If you have a history of shin splints then any time your ankle gets under more pressure than it’s used to, this can cause your shin splints. If your shin splints recovery is from an injury, you can usually avoid this condition by taking regular breaks from heel striking.
- When your plantar fascia is tight, then the internal ankle plantar flexors, or shin splint muscles, will be tight too. If the pain is worse in your shins, this is likely because there are also tight muscles in the ankle.
At the time of onset, the swelling around the affected area can be tinged with red or pink because the tissue is inflamed.
The pain usually gets better after rest, but for some people it doesn’t. The rest might actually be making things worse.
Treat your feet to carpet comfort
Try to avoid exposing your heel to hard surfaces or running on carpeted floors. You can also try avoiding exercise that requires straight, high-knees (such as stairs or hitting the treadmill).
The most important thing is to avoid running, especially if you’ve had shin splints in the past. If you’re an older adult with known shin splints you can use special insoles to build up your arch support. Ask your healthcare provider if you should have this, as prescription insoles cost money. And are often time-consuming to get fitted. There are many shoes that help support your foot by providing arch support as well.
Lifestyle modifications that reduce stress on the plantar fascia (such as increased daily walking. And moving your body in the general direction of your foot) can help to relieve the pain.
If you’re experiencing pain in both your ankles and hips, you might have a “runner’s knee”.
“Runner’s Knee” can limit the movement of your foot. You may notice some foot swelling, which could be a concern if it becomes worse.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can include shooting or shooting pain or heat, swelling around the plantar fascia and red or purple toenails.
Itching and changes in the foot when there are sore spots are normal sensations during heel-walking. These symptoms are a reflection of how your foot is responding to the mechanical stress you are giving it. You could also be noticing changes in your skin around the plantar fascia. Especially if you have itching or noticeable patches of raw skin.
However, you’re probably not feeling a thing if you can’t keep walking. Plantar fasciitis is something you should keep in mind but shouldn’t stop you from practicing good walking form. Without treatment, your pain could worsen.
HOW TO TREAT PLANTAR FASCIITIS
There is currently no cure for plantar fasciitis, but there are some treatments that can ease pain.
The most common treatment for overall pain that doesn’t lessen with rest. Is a prescription for a short walk focusing on lengthening the muscles in the front of your leg. This stretch prevents blood from pooling in the low back of your leg. And is best started by walking in place for 10 minutes. Then for two weeks, switch sides. Next, practice the move in front of a mirror while standing. To make it more intense, perform the same stretch while doing ankle or hip circles. The goal is to lengthen all the muscles that are most involved in walking — the hip abductors, hip adductors and the gluteal muscles — while keeping your knees on the ground.
You can wear a basic resistance band to engage all the muscles in your bottom half of the leg for 10 reps at a time. If you want to increase the intensity, perform the stretch in front of a mirror while lying on your back. You can also focus on contracting and stretching the muscles that are slightly less involved. While walking slowly on a flat surface.
For men, one thing that’s helpful to keep in mind while treating plantar fasciitis is the length of your spine. Lengthening the muscles that run down into your midsection using a compression sock is helpful for reducing the tenderness caused by the stretching exercises, according to Anthony Macher, DPM, the master trainer at NYLI.
For women, a compression sock may help lessen the pain of plantar fasciitis, according to Nicole Lombardo, a podiatrist.
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