Have you ever heard of Plantar Fasciitis? It appears that many runners are suffering from this these days, but it can be tricky knowing what to do if you do have it.
If you experience pain in your heel, particularly when you get out of bed in the morning or get sharp pains in your heels when you have been sitting down for a while, it is possible you have Plantar Fasciitis.
So, what is it, what causes it and what should we do if we are experiencing it? Continue reading to find out more.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel pain is commonly caused by Plantar Fasciitis. It can happen for both runners and non-runners. There is a thick band of tissue on the base of your foot. It links your heel bone to your toes, and when this band becomes inflamed, it is known as Plantar Fasciitis. Sufferers often experience a sharp stabbing pain when they have not done activity for a while. You may find that the pain reduces when you stand and start to walk around. It happens a lot for those who regularly go running or are overweight.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes is called the Plantar Fascia. This piece of tissue looks and acts a bit like a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot. However, small tears can occur within it, which could be the first step to experiencing the sharp pain that comes with Plantar Fasciitis. Repeated stretching and tearing can cause the Plantar Fascia to become more inflamed. While there are no main causes for it, there are a few risk factors that include:
- Your age – it more common for someone to experience Plantar Fasciitis if they are between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Performing specific exercises – there are exercises such as long-distance running, ballet dancing, and aerobic exercises that put extra strain on the area.
- The way your foot is – For example, a high foot arch, flat feet, or an abnormal pattern in walking could increase the risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.
- Being overweight – puts extra strain on the area.
- Your job – If you have a job role that requires you to be on your feet nearly all the time, then this could be a risk factor for developing Plantar Fasciitis in the future.
Sufferers often experience a sharp stabbing pain when they have not done activity for a while.
What should I do?
If you are noticing the sharp and stabbing pain in the heel area, then you may want to get this checked out. If you do have Plantar Fasciitis, there are a few things that you can do to help. This includes:
- Medication – using anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can help relieve the pain.
- Different therapies – You could try things such as physical therapy where they will perform a series of exercises to stretch the muscles and tissues in the foot. You might also try night splints where a brace will help to stretch your foot at night. There are even arch supports that your doctor might recommend.
- Other medical procedures – There are other options in more extreme cases where surgery, steroid injections, and ultrasonic tissue repair could be useful and worthwhile.
Hopefully, this helps you to better understand what Plantar Fasciitis is and what you should do if you are experiencing it.