Most people will probably think this is a random Latin phrase, unless they’ve been diagnosed with it—then it’s two words that’s burned on their brains…or their feet.
Life with plantar fasciitis isn’t fun. Most human beings spend a lot of time on their feet; in some professions, this could be for their entire working day.
Our feet are our last bastions of support, holding up our frames and keeping our balance. If it’s too painful to stand, which can be the case for a lot of plantar fasciitis sufferers, this can really impact their lives.
Plantar fasciitis affects the heel and/or arch of the foot. It’s not contagious, but a condition that develops from years of straining the sole. People who are keen walkers, athletes, and those who spend their working life on their feet are more likely to have the condition—particularly if they don’t always wear the correct footwear for the task. When putting additional pressure on your feet through such undertakings as those mentioned, you need to wear shoes/trainers with plenty of structure and support.
The condition can also be exacerbated if you’re obese, as there’s more pressure on the feet and they’re forced to support more weight. It will help your overall health, but particularly your feet, if you can lose some excess pounds.
Plantar fasciitis can feel like you’re being stabbed in your sole and/or heel with lots of red-hot needles. Your feet can ache and throb, and it can feel as though you’re not able to stretch them—like they’re too tightly wound.
The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It stretches as you bend your foot to take a step then retracts when you put your weight on your other foot. Its shape is like that of a strong bow.
When the ligament is stretched unnaturally (via damage to the foot), or it’s heavily impacted over a length of time (such as the career of an athlete), it can develop tiny tears; calcium deposits can build up in these tears and develop into heel spurs. Though these spurs are not the cause of the pain that sufferers of plantar fasciitis feel, they can certainly make a flare-up feel more severe.
Whilst it sounds counter-productive (and damn painful!) to recommend walking when the condition is at its worst, it’s actually better than putting your feet up and resting. This is why the pain associated with plantar fasciitis is more acute just after you get up, or if you’ve been sitting for a while. A few steps around the room or a gentle stroll will slowly stretch the ligaments in your feet and the pain should ease.
As with many foot problems, try soaking your feet in warm water when they’re throbbing. The heat will help soothe the pain from the inflammation.
As trained podiatrists at Treat Your Feet, when we meet clients with plantar fasciitis, we have a feel of their feet to see if heel spurs are present; these can be dealt with via surgery. As for the plantar fasciitis pain, we can carry out a foot massage and exercises that gently stretch the ligament. We can also apply specialist bandages/tape to compress the area.
Plantar fasciitis is a particularly painful, stubborn condition that affects around two million people in the UK, and which can severely impact their lives and mobility. It’s tempting to want to simply put your feet up for the day when the pain sets in, but this isn’t the best way to deal with it. Book an appointment with us instead and we’ll give you plenty of tips and techniques to help manage the pain and discomfort.