Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. At first the fascia becomes irritated and then over times becomes inflamed and causes the heel pain as it pulls on the heel bone (the calcaneus). Usually plantar fasciitis occurs due to the faulty structure of the foot, such as flat feet or high arches. Other causes can be non-supportive footwear, standing on flat, hard surfaces for long periods of time, overuse and even obesity.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- pain on the bottom of the heel
- pain in the arch of the foot
- pain is usually worse first thing in the day when you get out of bed
- pain increases over time as the fascia becomes more inflammed
- swelling on the bottom of the heel
Treatment of plantar fasciitis includes stretching and release of the calf muscles as if these are tight then they will pull on the heel bone as well, causing a stretching pull on the fascia. You should also ensure you are wearing good, supportive shoes and avoiding going barefoot. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis and love wearing thongs then Archies Thongs are a great option as they provide a high arch support for your foot. In some cases taping the foot and ankle to provide support to the arch may also assist.
It is also important to check for any other issues that may be impacting the foot position to ensure that they are resolved or managed and therefore reducing the strain on the fascia. This might be as simple as the position of the pelvis, causing rotation through the leg and into the foot, resulting in a flat foot.