This condition is very common and the most common hind foot problem in runners.
If you have pain under your heel towards the middle of your foot when running or walking, or, after getting up in the morning there is pain but eases after about 5 to 10 minutes after putting pressure on your heel, you may have strained your Plantar Fascia where it is attached to the heel-bone.
What causes plantar fasciitis
The calf muscle being over stretched can be responsible or it can be from wearing shoes that have no arch support.
When the fascia is strained, the pain is near the bottom of the heel or along the arch. If the condition is ignored inflammation may occur which can lead to new bone growing on the front of the underside of the heel. This new bone growth is called a heel spur.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
In mild cases rest your foot from activity and use a shock-absorbing heel pad in your shoe to relieve pressure on the heel. Shoes for plantar fasciitis need not be special, but flat and well fitting and with adequate arch support. Also gently stretch the calf and plantar fascia muscles. When pain has disappeared you can resume your sport or activity. In worse cases you may need to seek medical advice and treatment may involve an injection. In the case of HEEL SPUR sometimes it is necessary to have the bone growth removed.
Prevention and Protection
Always warm up before your sport and do your stretches. This brings blood and oxygen to the working parts and helps reduce risk of further injury. wearing cushioned trainers with good arch support will also help.
Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
- Stretch the toes in and out several times at least three times a day.
- Sit on the floor and with your hand, gently pull your toes and foot back towards you until you feel the stretch in the sole of your foot. Hold to a count of ten and repeat twice.
- Sit on the floor and with your hand, gently pull your toes and foot downwards until you feel the stretch over the toes. Hold to count of ten and repeat twice.
- Using your toes, pick up a marble or pencil and do towel crunches.
- Walk barefoot on you toes for about 20 seconds twice a day.
- Walk barefoot on your heels for about 20 seconds twice a day.
- Hop around on your toes about ten times on each foot twice a day.
General fitness and strength will also help prevent further injury, but avoid weight bearing activities.