could plantar fasciitis be the cause of your foot pain?
“My feet are killing me!” Is this your main thought when taking your first steps in the morning, or after sitting for a while? Maybe the discomfort increases after exercise? Does the pain strike the bottom of your heel, or you feel aching or burning along your arch? You may have plantar fasciitis, a common cause of foot pain.
WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
The plantar fascia is a tough, fibrous band that helps to create and support the arches of your feet. It originates at the bottom of your heel bone and inserts at the ball of your foot. When you run your hand from your heel to your toes, the fascia is the tight tissue you feel in-between.
This condition is chronic; it develops slowly, and then persists. It’s closer to an overuse injury like tennis elbow, than a sudden injury like a sprained ankle. Both inflammation and long term tissue changes can cause this condition. Some factors can increase the likelihood, such as:
• being on your feet for long periods of time
• sports and activities that put stress on the heel, such as running or aerobics
• inactivity, obesity
• both dropped arches and high arches
• limited ankle dorsiflexion (restricted ability to bring your toes towards your shin).
Your arches work hard − think of your feet acting like mini trampolines − flexible and strong. As you step, your foot joints move and the arch tenses, providing both mobility and rigidity. As your foot then swings through the air, its arch unwinds… until the next step. The cycle then continues. Walking or running on hard surfaces, walking too fast or too long and wearing non-supportive shoes can aggravate the condition.
CAN IT BE TREATED?
This leads us to the question that’s probably on your mind − how can you treat plantar fasciitis? Rest is important. Ice treatment may help; try freezing an incompletely filled water bottle, wrap it in a towel and roll it back and forward under your arch with pressure. Stretch daily − with your leg extended, place a towel under the ball of your foot and hold the ends in either hand. Pull towards your body, creating a stretch through the foot.
Foot pain may also be associated with other joint pain, including the back, knee and hip. Ask your chiropractor for their advice on the cause, if other joints are contributing to your pain, and what treatment is appropriate. Remember, plantar fasciitis is a chronic condition that will take time and care to resolve.