So what is it?
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation/irritation and or thickening of the plantar fascia – the sheet of connective tissue stretching from your heels to your toes. Often experienced first thing in the morning it can feel like sharp, tearing pain in your heel or arch or in chronic cases, more like an ache.
What are the Causes?
No one completely agrees on the root cause and it can vary widely between individuals. Here’s what I most often find in my practice:
- Shortness in all the leg muscles, especially the lower leg caused by sports such as running or excessive, standing or walking.
- Imbalanced use of your body. For example: I got it in my left foot for a while. My right leg is a bit buggered up from an old car accident so I have to watch for favoring my left leg especially when I’m out running.
- Constantly wearing flip flops or backless shoes which require you to grip them with your toes as you walk. High heels – keep them only for special occasions.
- Old forgotten about shin splints from youth.
- Being overweight including during the later stages of pregnancy
- Ill fitting foot beds, sometimes even custom made ones
How do you get rid of it?
First of all,
- STOP DOING THE THINGS THAT AGGRAVATE IT. Sounds obvious but you’d be amazed how hard this can be for some people. For others, who have to stand for a living, it’s simply not possible.
- Stretch all of your leg muscles. Go here to access my whole body stretching routine. Focus on bent and straight leg calf stretches.
- Keep stretching tools handy. I have my foam block and orange ball by my standing desk so whenever I’m working there I’m standing on one of them to open up my lower leg muscles and plantar fascia. Lengthy, regular stretching like this makes a huge difference in alleviating pain and preventing future problems.
- Get the right hands on therapy. In my practice I use deep my ofascial techniques to open and balance your lower leg structures. Some areas, like the tibialis posterior – the thick muscle behind your Tibia – are virtually impossible to stretch and open by yourself. I’ve found this to be a common culprit for plantar fasciitis so it can be critical to get this area worked on.
- Rest, elevation, ice, wearing the boot overnight are other procedures which people have found useful. The sooner you can treat this issue the better. I’ve seen clients who got on top of it be pain free within weeks. Others who ignored it for too long, had it for 12 months or more, sometimes in both feet. Ouch!
Learning to really listen to your body and take good care of it, which sometimes means taking a break from certain activities will help you prevent most kinds of repetitive use issues. Stretch. It’s one of the easiest most effective things you can do for yourself. Just do it.
If you’re suffering with plantar Fasciitis schedule a session with me now so you can be pain free and get back to doing the things you love to do as soon as possible.
Here’s to your happy feet,