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Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is a common condition which affects many of us to a greater or lesser extent at some point in our lives, around 10% of the population! But what is Plantar Fasciitis and how do we treat it?
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band-like structure which runs from the inside of your heel under your arch and then branches out to the balls of your feet. Ordinarily, the arch of your foot is supported by the Plantar Fascia and helps everything to function smoothly. The problem is, sometimes we put it under too much strain! Things like weight gain, a sudden increase in exercise, poor footwear, or anything which causes the plantar fascia to undergo more stress can lead to pain and inflammation.
Wearing good supportive footwear is the easiest way to prevent conditions like plantar fasciitis. Our Biomechanical Footbed Technology is specifically designed to support your feet and reduce excess strain on the plantar fascia.
If you already suffer from plantar fasciitis, supportive footwear is still very important, but you might also want to try physiotherapy exercises such as calf stretches, deep tissue massage, and cold therapy. 97% of the time plantar fasciitis suffers will recover within 6 months of treatment and if left without therapy it may take 12 months.
Find a book (a piece of wood or even a step will also work) and place both forefeet on the edge of it, lowering your heels off the back until you feel a pull down the back of your calves. If it is painful, use a thinner book and if you can’t feel anything, use a thicker book. Hold the stretch for about 2 minutes and don’t bounce.
Use a golf or tennis ball & roll it under your arch & foot. Apply as much pressure as you can tolerate whilst you push the ball into the ground with your foot, then swap to your other foot after 30 seconds and repeat. Keep repeating this exercise for up to 5 minutes a day.
Cold therapy, or icing, is one of our favourite treatments for relieving the pain and inflammation from plantar fasciitis. Keep a small bottle of water in the fridge or freezer & roll the bottom of your foot over it to ease that aching pain. Icing works by constricting the blood vessels in your feet – reducing blood flow - which then helps swelling, pain, and inflammation.
The more we weigh, the more force we put through our feet, and this has a direct effect on the plantar fascia. Research has shown that a BMI over 30 leads you to be at a 6x greater risk for plantar fasciitis than somebody with a ‘normal’ weight. However, we know when suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis it can be easy to gain weight due to it being difficult to get up and moving. If you are concerned about your weight, please speak to your GP.
Grip a thin towel with your toes and lift your arch at the same time. Hold this for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 10 to 20 times once a day. This will help strengthen the muscles in your foot responsible for the positioning of your toes whilst you walk.
If you like to run or walk for pleasure, opt for softer ground footpaths rather than hard roads. If you stand for a long time at work on hard floors, see if you can sit or walk around for short periods instead. If you love going on long hikes you may need to reel it in temporarily until you’re healed – There are still lots of great scenic places to visit without walking for miles.
Many people find that the pain is worse after rest, this is because your foot adopts a relaxed position when you are sleeping or resting and the plantar fascia contracts. As soon as you stand and put all your body weight through your foot, it can be a bit of a shock to the system, so gently stretch the sole of your foot before you stand up. Try to raise your toes, point your toes, and then curl them holding each position for 5 seconds.
Research shows that the healthier we are and the better our diet, the better our body is at repairing itself if anything does go wrong. So, keep up with the vitamin C and keep colds and other ailments at bay. Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week to maintain a healthy lifestyle, that’s just 22 minutes a day!
Podiatrists are medical professionals who specialise in the foot and lower limb. They will be able to assess your biomechanics and prescribe orthotics to change the position of your foot if required. A Podiatrist will also be able to give you advice which is tailored to you and your lifestyle. Visit our store locator to find specialists near you.
Wearing good supportive footwear is one of the easiest ways to help minimise and prevent plantar fasciitis. The Strive ‘Biomechanical Footbed Technology’ follows the natural shape of your feet, in turn reducing any unnecessary stress on the plantar fascia ligament.
The Strive footbed is contoured to match the natural shape of your foot. It helps to minimize over-stretching and strain on the plantar fascia ligament.
A deep heel cup cradles the heel and absorbs shock, reducing the harmful pressures of impact when walking.
The Strive footbed is firm to create natural comfort by supporting the foot in the very position it is meant to be held in instead of using excessive cushioning.