What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Can You Treat It?
Please note that this post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any concerns please consult an appropriately qualified medical professional.
Chronic pain (usually defined as pain lasting for 3 months or more continually) can be debilitating and can have a serious and lasting impact on both your physical and mental health. It is also surprisingly common, with just over 20% of American adults experiencing pain most days or every day according to one study.
In today’s post, we will look at one common chronic pain condition: plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “fash-ee-eye-tis”) is the inflammation of the tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, from your heel to toe bones. It is characterized by pain on the bottom of your foot, typically concentrated in the heel and arch. According to Medscape, there are around 1 million medical visits in the US each year due to this condition.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, your foot pain is likely to be caused by plantar fasciitis if:
- the pain is worse when you first start walking (for example, after sleeping or resting)
- the pain goes away or lessens during exercise, but returns after resting
- it's difficult to raise your toes off the floor
Plantar fasciitis pain can also be worsened by long periods of standing (even if walking for the same period does not have the same effect.) Wearing inappropriate shoes, exercising on hard surfaces, and overstretching the sole of your foot can also worsen the condition.
People of any age can get plantar fasciitis. It is particularly common amongst young people who participate in sports involving jumping or running, in those aged 40-60, and in people who are overweight. Its causes are not always easy to identify.
In the next section, we will share a few tips for what to do if you think you may be suffering from this condition.
See a Doctor
Only an appropriately qualified medical professional can definitively diagnose a condition like plantar fasciitis. If you have been suffering from pain for more than 2 weeks, make an appointment as soon as possible.
Plantar fasciitis can clear up on its own, but it can also get worse without appropriate treatment. Continuing to push through the pain instead of addressing it is a big mistake.
Your doctor will recommend a course of treatment which, depending on the circumstances and severity of the condition, may include medication, physical therapy, special shoes, using ice on the affected area, and so on.
Lose Weight if You are Overweight
Being overweight can worsen your plantar fasciitis by putting extra strain on the area. It can also cause many other health problems, from Type 2 Diabetes to heart disease. Therefore, if you are overweight, losing weight will have numerous benefits for your health.
Slow and steady wins the weight loss race, and creating a sustained caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn) is the only way to do it. Resist the temptation to engage in fad or crash diets, and instead reduce your caloric intake to a sustainable level and increase your activity slowly.
Always seek medical advice before beginning any diet or exercise program for weight loss.
Use Recovery Products
Recovery garments which work with your body’s natural healing processes can help to relieve pain and speed up recovery time.
We have hand-selected a few of our best-selling products that may help to reduce your plantar fasciitis pain. By increasing blood flow and lymph flow, they bring nutrients to the affected area and remove harmful by-products without the need for compression.
Try Orthopedic Shoes or Insoles
Special shoes won’t eliminate plantar fasciitis by themselves, but they can go a long way towards reducing pain and improving your quality of life. In general, you should look for shoes that offer great arch support, plenty of cushioning, and a firm but flexible midsole.
Prevention.com recommends some of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis to get you started, but the best way to find the right shoes for you is to see a podiatrist.
You can also use insoles inside your regular shoes, if you prefer. According to podiatric brand Feet&Feet, you should look for firm insoles with shock-absorbing heel cups and wide toe boxes.
Don’t Ignore the Problem
When it comes to treating a condition like plantar fasciitis, proactivity is vital. Don’t ignore the condition in the hopes that it will go away by itself. Help is out there and many sufferers can make a full recovery with proper treatment.