A thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone and toes which runs across the bottom of your foot is called the plantar fascia. The inflammation of this tissue causes the condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.
Stabbing pain in the heels especially with your first steps in the morning happens due to this condition and it is common for overweight people and runners. Extended periods of standing, wearing shoes with inadequate support, etc can aggravate this issue.
What causues Plantar Fasciitis?
The bowstring-shaped tissue supporting the arch of the foot is the shock absorber of the human body. Due to tension and stress to the tissue, small tears can form in the fascia. When the tearing and stretching happens regularly it causes irritation and subsequently leads to inflammation.
Who are at the risk?
With age, wear and tear of the tissue happens. This condition is often seen in people between 40-60 years of age. Long-distance running, ballet dancing, aerobic dancing, or any other activity that causes extra stress on the heels, results in the onset of this condition.
It is often noticed that plantar fasciitis is common in those with an abnormal walking pattern or structural foot issues like flat feet or high arch. Uneven weight distribution while standing or walking is a major contributing factor. Being overweight puts extra stress on your plantar fascia and subsequently it can lead to inflammation.
It is often seen in men/women who spend most of their working hours on their feet (teachers, factory workers, etc). Walking or standing for extended periods of time increases the risk. Tight Achilles tendons may also cause this issue as it is attached to the calf muscles and the heels.
Ignoring the condition will lead to further issues as it will hinder your movement and it will also cause foot, knee, hip or back problems when we try to alter our normal movement patterns to relieve the pain due to plantar fasciitis.
Platar Fasciitis Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is often brought under control with physiotherapy and stretching exercises. Having ample rest, icing, shoe inserts, pain relief tablets, or even wearing braces can help relieve the pain to an extent. If the situation is serious and the pain is unbearable, your doctor may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (sound waves are bombarded into the heels to stimulate ligament healing), or even surgery as the last resort.
Platar Fasciitis Exercises
Some stretches can help to reduce the pain and the inflammation. Here are a few of them –