Folks with plantar fasciitis have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Not because they are lazy or tired. It’s not from one too many the night before, or from too few zzz during their sleep. It’s because for those with plantar fasciitis they know when their feet hit the ground intense heel pain will soon follow. After a long nights rest, the first few steps of the day can be the worst.
So lets take get our terminology straight first. The plantar surface is the bottom of the foot. Fascia is a type of tissue that holds things together. In this case it’s supporting the bones in the arch of your feet. I like to think of fascia as thick plastic wrap like the kind used to save leftovers. And the ‘itis’ part just lets us know the tissue is inflamed.
When this tissue gets inflamed, it contacts overnight while the foot is resting and the first steps of the day will stretch out this irritated tissue and cause burning or stabbing pain. This pain is usually felt on the inside bottom of the feet just in front of your heel. Once the fascia is limber the pain usually goes away only to come back after the next break.
So you may be wondering who gets this? The first group to look to is those weekend warriors. Those who give their feet physical overload in little spurts. This heavy activity without much muscle to support it can sometimes be just too much for the feet to handle. Also there are people without much of an arch in their feet. They are considered flat-footed and are more prone to plantar fasciitis. This is because your arches in your feet act as shock absorbers, without them your entire foot (not to mention knees) must hit the ground.
If you consider how many steps we take in a day, this can be quite the beating. Just think of it like jumping in the water feet first verses a straight on belly flop. With no arches in your feet your entire foot has to smack the ground all at once. This can make for a very unhappy foot. Those with arthritis and diabetes are also prone to plantar fasciitis. And of course bad shoes can cause this too.
As to how to cure this really depends on what caused it. If you just bought a new pair of heels, the pain should subside once you go back to your old supportive tennis shoes. You may have to discontinue heavy physical activity for a while. Stretching your calf muscles will take off the pressure off the foot and we should be stretching everyday anyways.
Sometimes your heel bone gets knocked out of place, and in that case have your chiropractor put it back in. A physical therapist can instruct on specific exercises to help strengthen the foot. And with any inflammation ice is always key. Three to four times a day for twenty minutes a time will help calm them down. You may think soaking your tootsies in a nice hot tub would do some good, but actually it would just further inflame the situation.
Take care of yourself.