What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot complaints, as it can manifest itself in almost anyone, whatever size or weight you are and whatever level of daily exercise you undertake. It is something of a mystery ailment as it can be hard to identify and solve, but there are many ways in which it can be treated to reduce the pain.

The pain from plantar fasciitis is felt towards the bottom of the foot around the heel and arch. It is usually caused by straining the plantar fascia, which is the part of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes. What causes a lot of uncertainty and confusion is that the pain is often felt after exercise, rather than during it, so it is less obvious what the cause of your pain is.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

It is not always clear what the cause of plantar fasciitis is, it can be caused by many things, but the cause is usually one of the following:

  • You recently started exercising on a hard floor
  • A tight heel or calf muscle has been aggravated by exercise
  • You have overstretched your sole during exercise
  • You have recently started exercise – running or walking
  • You are overweight

In truth, plantar fasciitis can also be caused by anyone not wearing shoes with an adequate standard of support.

The pain caused by plantar fasciitis can manifest itself in many ways, but a sign that you have plantar fasciitis is if the pain is much worse once you start walking after sleeping or resting. The common complaint for plantar fasciitis sufferers is that it is the pain they feel in the morning when they take their first steps after getting out of bed. Often the pain will feel better during exercise, but returns after resting, whereupon it can be difficult to raise the toes off the floor.

What can you do to treat plantar fasciitis?

There are various exercises you can do to alleviate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, and a GP will recommend which you should undertake for your level of pain, but you should also avoid:

  • walking or standing for long periods
  • wearing high heels or tight, pointy shoes
  • wearing flip-flops or backless slippers
  • walking barefoot on hard surfaces

Wearing suitable insoles can also help. These will provide support and cushioning where it is needed, deep heel support and overall comfort for the feet in general. Of course this will vary depending on the severity of your problem, but orthotic insoles will help with the discomfort and assist in enabling full and comfortable everyday activity. Insoles will provide more consistency to your comfort and, in conjunction with a prescribed form of physiotherapy, can be very effective.

Of course this pain can worsen and become more severe if you take no precautions, so speak to your GP to identify the cause of the issue and act on their recommendations, and also speak to OR8 Wellness about orthotic insoles which can combine to provide long term support for your issue.

Go Back