Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in adults. It is a degenerative condition, meaning that there is a continual breakdown of collagen at the origin of the plantar fascia. The term ‘Plantar Fasciitis’ relates to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes.
Plantar Fasciitis is relatively common as the main cause of the condition is repetitive trauma, e.g sports that involve some degree of running or jumping or going from periods of inactivity to high bursts of activity.
Given the high incidences of Plantar Fasciitis, it is surprising that so many people still fail to see the signs of the condition and even more importantly, fail to treat the condition or seek lifestyle improvements to reduce the chances of developing the inflammation of the plantar fascia.
In order to understand why you should treat the inflammation of the plantar fascia, it’s important to understand the role the plantar fascia has in order to keep us mobile:
What Does The Plantar Fascia Do?
- Stabilises the metatarsal joints during impact with the ground.
- Acts as a shock absorber for the leg, absorbing pressure from the ground when mobile.
- Helps form the arch of the foot; helps lift the arch of the foot to prepare the foot for tack-off when moving (walking, running or any movement that involves moving from one space to another).
Any one of the above are really important when it comes to day-to-day living. Therefore, any issue or immobility due to the plantar fascia can impact your life, both physically or emotionally.
What Puts You At Risk Of Plantar Fascia?
Due to the nature of the plantar fascia, it is obvious as to how the below activities can put you at risk of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Sports that involve jumping or running; dancing, tennis, basketball are just a few sports that can put you at risk of plantar fasciitis.
- Periods of inactivity followed by periods of activity
- Running on hard grounds
- Wearing old shoes (shoes with poor or worn shock absorption can put more strain on the plantar fascia)
- Spending too long on your feet (e.g. jobs where you spend 7.5 hours a day walking around or stood up such as nursing or shop workers)
- Obesity or being over-weight
- Natural deposition to being flat-footed or having high arches
Whilst we don’t recommend self-diagnosing yourself online, as treatments for Plantar Fasciitis are relatively non-invasive, if any of the below resonate with you then consider some of the treatments/lifestyle changes below:
Are You Suffering With Plantar Fasciitis?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you could have a mild to serve case of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Do you play sports?
- Was the last time you changed your ‘everyday’ footwear, longer than over a year ago?
- Is your heel pain worse at night?
- Is your heel pain relieved when sitting with your foot elevated?
- Do you experience severe pain after prolonged periods of inactivity, such as sleeping or sitting? – the most common questions a healthcare professional will ask when they think you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis is “is the pain particularly severe with the first few steps taken in the morning?”
- Do you experience higher levels of pain when walking barefoot, walking on your toes or walking upstairs vs. walking on a flat surface with adequate shoes?
If you answered yes to the above, then we recommend considering some of the below treatments or lifestyle changes. If you’re not suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, then at-least these can decrease your chances of developing the condition.
Lifestyle Improvements To Treat/Reverse Plantar Fasciitis:
The treatment of Plantar Fasciitis involves reversing the inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. Below are our lifestyle recommendations to help reduce the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis:
- Rest often, try to keep your feet off the ground and avoid adding any weight onto the foot. Doing this should see improvements in 6-8 weeks.
- Loose weight. Weight loss can help reduce the risks associated with most conditions. Doing this should see improvements in 6-8 weeks. Check out our At-Home Workouts that will help you lose weight.
- When active, choose to undertake these activities on softer surfaces such as grass or running tracks vs. running on tarmac or the pavement. Making this change should see improvements in your levels of pain in 6-8 weeks.
- Update your shoes regularly and always replace your shoes when you notice signs of damage.
Top Plantar Fasciitis Treatments:
The daily support is a class 1 medical device which contains a compression sock & a built in heel arch. The compression sock & heel arch combination protects & supports the heel all day long in addition to recreational & sporting activities.
The compression sock helps relieve swelling & discomfort, helping you to stay active for longer whilst also reducing vibration damage that can damage the Plantar Fascia tissue and joints of the body. The heel arch provides cushioning for impact protection, support and comfort.
The sock is made from a breathable, moisture control fabric for everyday wear whilst the integrated anatomic heel arch is made from silicone, ideal for shock absorption.
Not only does it relieve Plantar Fasciitis, it also helps relieve pressure, heel pain and arch pain. Can be worn with or without footwear, all day long.
One of the most convenient treatments for heel pain, the Scholl Orthotic simply involves placing the insole inside your shoe.
Orthaheel is an orthotic shoe insert designed to re-align your feet to their natural position and to correct your body posture, relieving many chronic complaints in the process.
It aligns the lower limb, supports the arch and the metatarsal bones, thereby helping to provide natural pain relief and walking comfort. Its design fits in most types of shoes.
Once your heel pain is reversed, below are great tips for helping to prevent the return of Plantar Fasciitis.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis:
- Always wear adequate footwear, developed for the purpose you’re using them for. E.g. running shoes for running.
- Purchase shoes with cushioning in the heels & foot arch
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid exercising on hard surfaces
- Regularly stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon