Your foot is made up of 28 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments that keep you moving through life. The plantar fascia, which runs from the heel to the toes, is one of these crucial ligaments. It supports the arch of the foot and absorbs pressure from movements that involve contact with the ground.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Although it is equipped to handle stress, too much pressure can damage or even tear the plantar fascia, resulting in a painful condition known as plantar fasciitis. There is no single cause, but there are factors that increase your risk of developing this condition. These are as follows:
- Poor foot mechanics
- Certain sports
- Having flat feet or high-arched feet
- Occupational demands that keep you on your feet for long hours
Is Plantar Fasciitis Causing Your Heel Pain?
Here are telltale signs to help you check whether plantar fasciitis may be causing your heel pain and what you can do about it.
Foot Pain in the Morning
When you experience heel pain the moment you step out of bed, it may be a sign of plantar fasciitis. Sleeping with your foot pointing down tends to contract the ligament, so those first few steps may suddenly pull on the plantar fascia. As a result, intense pain may start at the bottom of the foot and radiate out.
The pain can be dull or sharp and occur multiple times throughout the day to the extent that it interferes with day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are simple stretches you can do first thing in the morning to help reduce heel pain.
Sit with your legs in front of you and wrap a towel under your toes. Hold on to the two ends of the towel to stretch the calf and arch for 30 seconds. You can also put a can or bottle under the arch of your foot and roll it around for 60 seconds. Repeat either exercise thrice, with 30 seconds of rest in between.
You may also consider buying night splints to keep your feet at a constant 90-degree angle while you sleep.
Unlike acute sports injuries, plantar fasciitis causes pain after an exercise or workout routine, not during.
Runners are among the most vulnerable to this disease, given the repetitive pressure running puts on the heels. According to research, plantar fasciitis accounts for roughly 10% of runner-related injuries and up to 15% of all foot symptoms requiring professional care.
An effective way to prevent plantar fasciitis is to invest in quality footwear that distributes the weight and pressure on your feet while providing good heel and arch support. Consult your doctor for recommendations regarding specialized sports footwear.
You may also consider orthotics that will relieve painful symptoms and correct any foot-related abnormalities. Most drugstores carry several heel cushions, cups, and pads. Ask your podiatrist what orthotics device is best for your needs and whether you need customized inserts.
Discomfort After Standing Too Long
If you have an occupation that requires you to stand for hours, there’s a high chance you might develop plantar fasciitis. To protect your feet, remember to take shorts breaks. Find a place to sit down and position your legs outward to give your heels some breathing room. Wear comfortable footwear that is supportive. Also, maintain a healthy weight, so you don’t put too much pressure on your feet.
Foot Doctor in Naples, Florida
Most of the time, plantar fasciitis can be treated using the RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Only in rare cases is surgery warranted. It’s important to recognize these warning signs early to prevent any complications down the line, like chronic foot pain and heel spurs.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit the Joint Replacement Institute for a comprehensive foot check-up. Our team is highly trained in evaluating and treating a wide range of foot disorders, including plantar fasciitis.
Depending on your condition, we may recommend orthotics and shoe inserts to reduce heel pressure and provide pain relief. Our physical therapists will also teach you how to stretch your foot to minimize the risk of injury during physical activity.
Call us at (239) 261-2663 or fill out our online appointment request form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to serving you.