By: Josh Venegas (virtuefitinc.com)
Does your foot have a sharp pain when you step out of bed in the morning? Does it feel better once you start walking around? Does the pain return after standing for a long time or at the end of the day? These are some of the symptoms which could indicate you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing heel pain. Supporting the arch, the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel to the ball of the foot, can become inflamed or can tear. You experience pain when you put weight on your foot—particularly when taking your first steps in the morning. The pain can be felt at the heel, or along the arch and the ball of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition. It occurs in as many as 2 million Americans per year and 10% of the population over their lifetimes.
Factors that contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis include:
- Age (over 40 years)
- A job, sport, or hobby that involves prolonged standing or other weight-bearing activity
- Rapid increases in length or levels of activity, such as beginning a new running program or changing to a job that requires a lot more standing or walking than you are accustomed to
- Decreased calf muscle flexibility
- Increased body weight (Body Mass Index greater than 30)
- Tendency to have a flat foot (pronation)
Plantar fasciitis affects people of all ages, both athletes and non-athletes. Men and women have an equal chance of developing the condition.
What causes it?
The cause of plantar fasciitis is poorly understood and is thought to likely have several contributing factors. Some risk factors that increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis include having a job that requires long hours on your feet, especially if standing on hard surfaces. Achilles tendon tightness, calf tightness, and inappropriate footwear have also been identified as significant risk factors. Among non-athletic populations, degeneration, or breakdown, of the plantar fasciitis can be associated with obesity and lack of physical exercise.
Occupations That Have Increased Risk
People in occupations such as factory work, nursing, retail work, or teaching are at higher risk of developing pain. Plantar fasciitis is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60. People with faulty foot mechanics, like having flat feet, having high arches, or having an abnormal pattern of walking can have changes in their mechanics and can put more stress through the bottom of their feet. There are also certain types of exercise that can put a lot of stress through the arch and heel, such as running and aerobics that can also increase your risk. So many endurance athletes are also prone to Plantar Fasciitis. It is important to focus on prevention if you fall into one of the categories stated above.
Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis include not wearing worn out shoes, wearing supportive shoes, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you have symptoms and are active, try varying your activity and get involved in a lower-impact sport like swimming or bicycling. Regular stretching of the calf and arch can help. Applying ice packs several times a day or after activity can also help relieve your symptoms.
Plantar fasciitis is usually diagnosed by a health care provider and some people may need further evaluation or treatment by a sports medicine professional or physical therapist. Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatment in just a few months.
Stretching is a must if you have the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. A great routine to help you get back to 100% can be found Here. To get rid of Plantar Fasciitis quickly it is important to employ a number of methods together to achieve the quickest result. So use of anti-inflammatory medication is recommended by most health professionals. However, Ice packs, and hot compresses can help as well. Consider getting a new pair of shoes with good arch support to help. For many people their shoe choice can be the issues if you haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in a while. Plantar Fasciitis can be a pain in the butt if not treated quickly before symptoms worsen. Don’t wait for it to become a chronic issue!