Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the sole of the foot, commonly in the heel. Those with the condition dislike pressure placed on this area. With the correct management, plantar fasciitis will resolve with conservative treatment.
The plantar fascia is the thickened tissue on the sole of your foot. It pads the foot as well as having elastic properties to help transmit the forces of the calf muscle, allowing you to spring. It provides shape to your foot arch, providing shock absorption and an even distribution of your weight as you put weight through your leg.
If too much demand is placed on the plantar fascia, it can inflame and become painful. This can come about through increased activity, for example on a hiking holiday, or with increased stretch on the tissues, such as swapping to unsupportive sandals in the summer from the usual supportive lace up shoes you wear the rest of the year.
Recognising the early warning signs is key to a speedy recovery.
Avoid overdoing the things that particularly provoke your pain. Weight bearing activities such as walking and running are common aggravators, so temporarily reduce these or substitute them for swimming or cycling which do not put so much load through the plantar fascia.
Address your footwear. If you tend to walk around in flat, lose unsupportive shoes, wear lace up shoes with a good arch support.
Try different insoles. If your pain is predominantly in your heel, you may find a doughnut-shaped insert helpful. Alternatively, you may find you need more of a support in your arch.
Roll an ice bottle under your foot. This not only acts to reduce inflammation, but also helps to gently stretch the tissues.
Stretch regularly throughout the day, ensuring you hold these positions. This will help to reduce any excess load on the plantar fascia.
Remember, plantar fasciitis can take some time to settle, so be patient, and persevere with your treatment. In time, you will get back to doing what you love most.