Plantar Fasciitis - how do we know when we have it?

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Plantar Fasciitis

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Do you ever experience pain in the arch of your foot that seems to just come out of nowhere? Chances are, you may be suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The Plantar Fascia is a thick, stringy ligament that connects our heel to the front of our foot. It supports the arch of our foot and helps us to walk, jog and run.

Plantar Fasciitis isn’t a condition we need to be overly worried about. It is actually one of the most common orthopaedic complaints. Our Plantar Fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear, and when you consider how often we are on our feet, it’s not unusual to suffer with aches and pains. Normally, these ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the arch of the foot. When we put too much pressure on our feet, we run the risk of damaging or tearing the ligaments. If this happens, the Plantar Fascia becomes inflamed which causes the stiffness and pain in our heel.

Plantar Fasciitis can affect anyone; however, it is slightly more common amongst women in their 40-60’s. This is mainly due to wearing high-heeled shoes for long periods of time. As nice as they look, high heels are unfortunately not considered ideal footwear, Ladies!

We are always more susceptible to Plantar Fasciitis if we find that we stand up for prolonged amounts of time or we tend to walk barefooted quite often. Recent changes in routine and exercise are also a huge factor. There are numerous risk factors when we have biomechanical changes to our feet, such as, flat feet or high arches, tightness in the muscles along the back of our legs, weight gain and leg length differences. All these can play a significant role in developing the condition, however, it is nothing to be overly worried about, particularly in the early stages.

Plantar Fasciitis is usually an easily, treatable condition for our team of Physiotherapists, with most cases resulting in improved strength and condition in the foot.

There are, however, a number of conditions which can cause foot pain and therefore it is important to have the pain professionally diagnosed. Your physiotherapist is the best place to start and if needed, can refer you to other specialists should the issue be more serious or complicated.

What can you do to help?

Typically, if you have Plantar Fasciitis, it is best to wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned heel. We know it is easy to get side-tracked on what ‘looks’ like a good/fashionable shoe, but try to properly test your shoes for comfort and stability. Where possible, avoid moving barefooted on hard surfaces, as well as, avoiding to stay standing for prolonged periods of time. Stretching and strengthening is a crucial component to recovering, with studies showing that 83% of people who suffer find relief from stretching daily. One of the most successful stretches is to use a hard, spherical object to roll back and forth between the arches of your foot and the floor.

You can find some simple tips on stretching and strengthening the arch of your foot here.

If you feel like you may be suffering with Plantar Fasciitis, or any foot pain for that matter, contact our team of experts for their help. Our Physiotherapists work alongside Biomechanical experts too, ensuring you are able to get the correct treatment for your condition, as well as, expert knowledge and guidance on the correct footwear, stretching exercises and also what to do shoulder we encounter similar issues in the future.

Contact us on 01282 453 110 today or use our FREE Ask A Physio service online to start your recovery.

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