Pronounced “PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus” is the most common cause of a pain in your heel.
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (called a ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. It’s made of collagen, a rigid protein that’s not very stretchy
Normally, the plantar fascia acts like a shock absorber supporting the arch in your foot. If tension becomes too much, it can create small tears in the ligament. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. Thus the “–itis” of fasciitis. (-itis means inflammation)
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Pain is usually worst in the morning with the first few steps after waking up. It can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from sitting. It is most common between the ages of 40 to 60.
Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and its attached tissues such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobics can contribute to its onset.
With runner’s, plantar fasciitis tends to strike those who over train, neglect to stretch their calf muscles, or overdo hill work and speed work.
Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by biomechanical flaws, including flat, high-arched feet and a tight Achilles tendon. It can be caused by sudden increases in training mileage; wearing worn running shoes; running on hard surfaces, like asphalt or concrete; or wearing high heels all day and then switching into flat running shoes.
Being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way your weight is distributed when standing and puts added stress on this ligament.
Excess pounds can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Occupations that enforce you to stand for a long time – Factory workers, teachers and others that walk and stand on hard services can damage this ligament.
If you change the way you walk to minimize the problem, you might also develop foot, knee, hip or back problems.
Ignoring this may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities.
Plantar Fasciitis Medical Treatment:
Treatment consists of orthotics, foot taping, cortisone injections, night splints, and anti-inflammatories. These will decrease symptoms significantly in about 95 percent of sufferers within six weeks. For more stubborn cases, physical therapy may be prescribed; six months of chronic pain may benefit from shock-wave therapy, an FDA-approved plantar-fasciitis treatment.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis Naturally by Dr. Eric Berg
I’m now going to show you an exercise for plantar fasciitis. This technique is the easiest thing to fix the condition as it can work fast. You can try this on yourself or other people. The thing you need to do first is to rate the pain—10 being severe and 0 being no pain. Do the procedure and re-rate it afterward. The technique I am going to show can be used on flat feet, too.
The worst thing you could do is stretch your calf or massage the bottom of the feet. That tears things down. What you should do instead is stretch the opposite way by stretching your toes downward and then relaxing. This stretches all the muscles at the top of the foot and the shin muscles at the front of your lower leg (tibialis anterior), not the calf. Do this technique about 10 or 20 times.
You can also get on your bed or couch and sit on your feet. Let your butt sit down your heels and press down. You may also put a pillow between your butt and legs while still sitting. What’s important is to sit on your heels to stretch the front of your feet. This sends signals to your feet, like an electrical circuit, that promotes relaxation. You can stay in this position as long as you want and then re-rate the pain after.
The Technique Can Alleviate Pain in a Week
This technique is also good for other types of pain at the bottom of your feet. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what people are doing. If you follow my technique once a day for a week and you follow a good diet plan, the pain would probably never come back. But if you have some systemic problems or arthritis, you need to fix your diet by cutting back on sugar and eating more vegetables.
Are There Any Complications for Plantar Fasciitis?
Yes, there can be complications with this condition. If left untreated, you may suffer from chronic heel pain that can affect how you walk and lead to injury in the back, hips, knees, and legs. If you undergo medical treatments like steroid injections, it can weaken your plantar fascia ligament and may cause ligament rupture.
In many cases, people don’t need to undergo surgery for the condition. Physical therapy, like my exercise for plantar fasciitis, can help improve the symptoms. Depending on the treatment, it can also take longer.
How Do You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
To completely avoid plantar fasciitis, you might need to make some changes with your lifestyle so you won’t put too much stress on your plantar fascia. Follow these simple changes:
- Perform regular leg and foot stretches.
- Avoid high-impact activities that put pressure on the feet.
- Follow low-impact exercises such as swimming.
- Don’t go barefoot on hard surfaces.
- Select shoes with proper foot support.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
This exercise for plantar fasciitis can significantly aid you in alleviating the condition’s symptoms. If you don’t feel any improvements in plantar fasciitis pain and discomfort after doing this exercise, visit your doctor right away as there may be a different underlying cause.