When every step sends a sharp pain through your foot and up your leg, even the simplest activity becomes something you dread. Trust me, I know.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the Plantar Fascia, which supports the arch.
In many instances, the pain will be felt in the heel of your foot. A sharp foot pain results from standing or walking on the affected foot and dramatically limits your ability to walk.
The plantar fascia is a sturdy structure but the degree of stress that it takes makes it susceptible to injury. A force equal to almost 3 times body weight passes through the foot with each step. On running, this typically happens about 90 times a minute. Source
Plantar Fasciitis is most common in people from middle age on into the later years. As we age and our feet lose their ability to maintain a proper arch, irritation can occur and heel pain will soon follow.
Common Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Symptom #1: Initial steps after periods of inactivity can be painful, but as you move on, the heel pain subsides.
Symptom #2: Walking barefoot becomes painful and sometimes your feet will feel like they are “on fire.”
Common Risk Factors For Plantar Fasciitis
- Recent weight gain
- Excessive walking on hard surfaces
- Shoes with inadequate arch support
My Experience With Plantar Fasciitis
Both my wife and I have been afflicted with Plantar Fasciitis. Mine was more extreme since it took a good 6 months before I could walk comfortably. In my situation, the problem was caused (or should I say aggravated) by poor quality shoes that were lacking good arch support.
Driving a bus throughout the Minnesota winters, I would wear snowmobile boots to keep my feet warm. With no arch support, in a matter of a few months, the damage was done and I had such foot pain that walking more than a few hundred feet became pure torture. Of course, I was also guilty of most of the other risk factors, so I should have expected problems well before they arose.
Purchasing a good quality work boot which offered a stout arch support and good ankle support was the first remedy for me. Plantar Fasciitis is often referred to as flip flop disease because the root cause of the problem is lack of arch support or ankle support. One thing for sure, flip flops don’t offer any support.
Beyond good shoes, I also purchased a set of Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Heel Cups. The combination of the two provided some immediate relief. I could then continue my day to day life as I worked to correct the condition.
About a year later, my wife came down with Plantar Fasciitis. Being familiar with the problem, we addressed it vigorously and her recovery was much faster. Of course, she wasn’t very happy about the fact that as we age, we need to wear more practical footwear that offers good arch support throughout the day.
She has accepted her “granny shoes,” and we both continue to wear cushioned shoe insole inserts to guard against the recurrance of Plantar Fasciitis Heel pain can quickly lead to a loss of mobility. With a little common sense, you can correct this painful condition. And better yet, you can avoid it altogether.
Plantar Fasciitis Relief
To further improve the condition of your feet, try stretching exercises to help lengthen the Achilles Tendon.
1. Curl your big toe up as you stretch your foot toward the shin of your leg.
2. Do this about 5-10 times in one sitting.
3. Repeat this exercise several times throughout the day.
4. This simple stretching activity helps return flexibility to your foot.
5. This stretching exercise is most effectively done in stockings or bare feet.
This Mayo Clinic video explains the condition called Plantar Fasciitis and what you can do to correct it:
Other things that commonly help with Plantar Fasciitis relief include:
This video has some good exercises to help treat Plantar Fasciitis: