Preventing Plantar Fasciitis With Dr. El-Saheli
Are you experiencing heel pain? If so, it could be plantar fasciitis. While it’s not the only cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause. Some researchers estimate about 10 percent of people will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime.
That doesn’t have to be you. Treatment for plantar fasciitis generally leads to good outcomes, with four out of five people reporting no more pain within a year. But, why treat plantar fasciitis when you can avoid it in the first place? I’m here to give you the tools you need to avoid this painful condition.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that starts on the heel bone (calcaneus), fans out across the sole of the foot and connects to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is the result of inflammation or strain of this band of tissue. This can result in pain or possibly burning on the bottom of the foot, often near the heel.
As far as who gets plantar fasciitis, there are a number of risk factors. Being overweight, obese or having a high BMI (body mass index) is one of the main causes. Runners often get plantar fasciitis, especially when they overtrain, step up their weekly mileage, wear improper or worn-out shoes or run on uneven surfaces. Flat feet, high arches and tight Achilles tendons are also risk factors.
Stretch It Out
Stretching is a great, no-cost way to treat plantar fasciitis and to protect yourself from developing it at all. For best results, you’ll want to stretch both the foot (the plantar fascia) and the calf.
For the calf, face a wall and stand with one leg forward and one back. Bend the knee of the leg in front and keep the rear leg straight. Put your hands on the wall and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your back leg’s calf. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
The Sneaker Situation
Footwear can have a large effect on plantar fasciitis pain. Plantar fasciitis is often considered an overuse injury, so anything that can take some of the pressure off of the plantar fascia may potentially be helpful.
Athletic shoes should be supportive and cushioned, especially for runners and other athletes. Work shoes should be the same. People who stand for most of their jobs, such as cashiers and waiters, would benefit from a soft, cushioned shoe that is also supportive of the arch and the ankle.
If stretching and changing of footwear don’t clear up your foot pain, or if you develop plantar fasciitis, there are a number of surgical and nonsurgical treatments that can help. If you’d like to learn more about plantar fasciitis or treatments for heel pain, please request an appointment with me or one of my colleagues and we’d be happy to help.