Plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, is a common issue amongst many people in today’s society. The largest ligament in the human body is the plantar fascia. This thick ligament which supports the arch of your foot, connects your heel bone (calcaneus) to the front of your foot. This article will educate you on symptoms, causes, and most importantly introduce you to plantar fasciitis exercises!
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is the pain at the bottom of the heel, as well as pain throughout the mid-foot. Sharp and dull pain is most common and typically most aggressive first thing in the morning due to stiffness.
- Heel Pain
- Foot Pain
- Sharp Pain
- Symptoms are most common in the morning
Plantar Fasciitis can affect people of all different backgrounds due to many different circumstances. Overweight individuals, long distance runners, people who stand on their feet all day, being flat-footed or having high arches, and having inadequate foot support may pose an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
So what actually causes the pain? As we discussed earlier, the plantar fascia ligament runs from the heel to the front of your foot and is there for support and to act as a shock absorber. The more weight (overweight individuals) the ligament has to support the more likely it is to become irritated or inflamed. Similarly, with long distance runners, the longer they run the more stress the ligament endures. Eventually, after repetitive stress on the ligament, it may begin to wear down and tear, leading to inflammation.
Anything that causes continued strain on the ligament may eventually lead to micro-tears and inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Below are some treatment options to help alleviate your foot pain!
Anti-inflammatories: Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen and other over the counter medications can be used to help reduce the swelling and inflammation of the ligament.
Exercises: Physical therapy is routinely prescribed to individuals with plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist will help you program exercises and stretches for your ligament and Achilles tendon while also strengthening other surrounding leg muscles in order to deviate the tension and all of the work the plantar fascia is doing throughout the day. Take a look at this list of Exercises we put together to help you with your pain!
Arch Support and Splints: Night splints may be beneficial as this will help stretch out your calf, Achilles tendon, and the arch of your foot overnight.
Arch support is also very beneficial because it works to distribute pressure throughout the foot and adds another layer of extra cushion and support for the arch of your foot.
First, rest and apply some ice to the bottom of your foot for 15-20 minutes in order to reduce inflammation. Try to stay off of your foot for a couple days in order to promote reduced swelling. Getting in touch with a physical therapist or a qualified trainer can help ease the process.
In order to ensure your foot heals properly to make sure you are consistent with your exercises!
Here is a related article on plantar fasciitis.