Why Do My Feet Hurt?
A quick reference guide on how to your Plantar Fasciitis
Nature crafted our feet for a pain-free standing, walking, or running. Our feet are created in this manner so they support movement without getting hurt or tired. But what if our foot starts to hurt anyway? There are various reasons for foot pain because we utilize them for everyday mobility needs. One of the rather significant and somewhat highly common ones is Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis can sound a little daunting at first but its one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. Below, we’ll discuss what Plantar Fasciitis is, what the possible causes of Plantar Fasciitis are and how you can get rid of it. If you ever had experienced a sharp pain in the heels or the arch of your feet, then you may want to keep reading.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Your plantar fascia is a web-like, rather thick ligament in our feet that connects our heels with the front foot for a pain-free movement. This ligament is essential to ease your walk by supporting your arch. The Plantar Fasciitis is the sole support that your feet have to maintain a balance and manage the movement. You can think of your Plantar Fascia ligament as shock absorbers for your foot.
These "shock absorbers" support the arch of your foot by easing the burden of the many other tendons of the foot. Like any tool used on a daily basis, it becomes prone to wear and tear, and that’s what exactly happens with your Plantar Fasciitis ligament. If you are utilizing your feet too much without properly taking care of them, then your Plantar Fasciitis may become inflamed and irritated. The inflammation of your Plantar Fascia thus causes the stiffness and the sharp pain in the arch and heel of the feet. Try the exercise above first thing in the morning for some needed relief.
The most common symptom associated with Plantar Fasciitis is the sharp sense of pain in the bottom of the heel. In some cases, it might spread to the middle part of the feet as well. The Plantar Fasciitis pain is associated with the specific ligament of the feet.
The sensation of pain varies among the patients. Some might describe it as a dull pain, while for others it could be sharp and pointed. For many, it might be extending pain gradually moving towards the mid of the foot.
One of the highly defining symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis is that it isn’t felt while walking but instead could be felt once you stop moving or walking. Usually, the Plantar Fasciitis becomes severe in the mornings when you place your foot on the floor out of bed.
Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis can immobilize your activities and may confine you to your bed only. So, it's highly crucial to be aware of the possible causes that lead to this painful experience. We’ve listed down some of the most common reasons for having Plantar Fasciitis, so read them all out to know if you are experiencing any of them.
If you are gaining weight, then bear in your mind that your feet will take a beating. Weight gain will cause increased pressure on the Plantar Fasciitis ligament. Usually, in pregnancy, women may complain about the pain in the heels or the arch of the feet i-e, Plantar Fasciitis.
Although our feet are meant to ease walking and to run, extensive running might prove dangerous for the ligaments. So if you are a long-distance runner, restaurant server, or a salesperson that needs to be on his feet most of the time, then it’s quite possible that you will have some variety of plantar pain.
The risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis increases with age. So if you are in your 50’s or more, you are most likely to experience some degree of Plantar Fasciitis.
If you’ve structural issues related to your feet, including flat feet or slightly higher than the usual arch, then you are more prone to develop Plantar Fasciitis. Additionally, if you are wearing footwear with poor to no support to your arch, then the chances of having Plantar Fasciitis could multiply.
Initially, medical experts were of the view that heel spurs were the cause of pain, but that is not true. A heel spur is the calcaneus outgrowth in the heel which can lead to plantar pain.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
If you are experiencing pain in your heels, then a proper diagnosis from a medical expert is crucial to start the cure. The physical examination includes the checking of the tenderness of the foot muscles. Also, the doctor may opt for the flex checkup to locate the origin of the pain or an MRI or X-ray scan of the foot.
Remedies to get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis
The severe pain we experience while having Plantar Fasciitis is due to the inflammation in the ligament. Reducing the inflammation might soothe the pain, but it does not address the actual damage or the root problem. A careful examination is needed to manager properly.
If you are experiencing Plantar Fasciitis pain, you may want to consider limiting your movement to only essential for a week or two. Apply ice on your feet twice or three time a day. You can also fill up a water bottle and freeze it, you can then roll your feet out with this.
You can also opt for the medical assistance to ease the inflammation. There are varieties of non-inflammatory drugs available to address the inflammation. If you consult a doctor, he might inject corticosteroid directly in your heel to ease the pain.
Along with having the anti-inflammatory treatment, you must also opt for physical therapy for the stretching of your Plantar Fasciitis ligaments and Achilles tendons. Hiring a physical therapist equips you with the exercises to strengthen your tendons and muscles for a more smooth walk and running. My favorite is taking some bouncy balls and rolling them around on the bottom of my foot. Its cheap and works wonders. Another option is a roller seen below.
Splints For Support
The strengthening of the calf muscles can also resolve the Plantar Fasciitis issue. If you are thinking about strengthening your arch and calves, then using the night splint are a good option available to you. The splint will hold your foot in a flexed position, thus allowing the lengthening of your ligaments and arch tendons.
To support the arch and a pain-free movement, you can also use compression socks. Compression socks are specially designed to reduce foot pain. Using compression socks for pain-free movement is also the best possible solution as it allows the ligament to heal.
The Pain Of Plantar Fasciitis
Foot pain might be a result of extensive walk or a day-long stand up. But if your foot pain does not go away with the usual balm or pain reliever, then it’s time to consult the doctor. Long neglected plantar fascia could lead to distorted walk. Moreover, it can lead to injuries upstream including your knees, legs, back, or pelvic region.
If you are facing foot pain due to plantar fascia, then it’s time to think about rather simple treatments including physical therapy and home treatments along with care.
While plantar pain can be a real bummer it can always be managed. Conservative treatment is best to start. Rest, Ice, Compression. Take care of those feet of yours, after all they take you everywhere you go in life.