I had this once when I started to increase my running. It can be really sore and a right pain (pardon the pun!).
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the strong fibrous bands that run along the bottom of your foot. It helps maintain the arch and holds the foot rigid as you walk.
Along with the muscles and bones this connective tissue, the plantar fascia, forms the arch of the foot. You will usually feel plantar fasciitis pain in your arch and heel as shown in the diagram to the right. When first arising standing you may experience heel pain which is the fibre stretching at the plantar fascial enthesis when the foot is bearing the body’s weight. After walking around the pain can ease. When applying thumb pressure the pain is worse at the heel bone.
Sometimes known as Heel Spur Syndrome, plantar fasciitis is one of the injuries most commonly experienced by young runners, post partum women, golfers, athletes and also those who stand for long periods of time on hard surfaces with poorly fitting or supportive footwear or pumps. There is also high incidences in people that are overweight in their 40s-60s and in 20% of cases, pain can occur for over a year if it is untreated..
The vast majority of people with this pain may
also have feet that over-pronate.
If you have flat feet or high arches, take extra care as you are more at risk. Tight archilles tendons put more risk on the fascia, so make sure you stretch both of them and your calves.
Try one or more of the following methods to help improve the condition:
- An ice massage the area for 10-15 minutes. Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. Peel off the paper, place the ice under the foot and roll your foot over it, from the heel to the ball and back.
- Taping your foot before jogging or running can help relieve the discomfort. Follow this by stretching the calf muscle, to within limits of pain, which is very effective.
- One stretching method is to use your toes to pull a towel, piece of paper, or marble off the floor.
- Place a golf ball under the base of your big toe and roll the foot forwards over the ball to the base of your second toe, and repeat. Do the same motion starting from each toe, exerting enough pressure to experience a little tenderness.
- Sit on the floor with one knee bent and the same ankle flexed towards you. Pull the toes towards the ankles. Hold for a count of 10, and repeat nine more times.
- Wear proper supportive shoes. Running or athletic trainers with excellent support, no or minimal heel, and well-cushioned soles. You can also include padded or gel inserts
- Use felt, gel, viscoelastic, or synthetic heel pads that spread and are shock absorbing as the heel lands on the ground. This eases pressure on the ligament structure of the plantar fascia that supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.
- Aim to lose weight – bone, joint, muscle or nerve pain tends to worsen with more weight the body has to bear.