Have you ever woken up, got to your feet only to find that you have excruciating pain in the bottom of one of your feet? You try to walk and the pain continues, although it may ease a little. If you have, then you likely are suffering from plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The sole of your foot contains a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia that runs from the heel to the base of your toes.
This fascia is made up mostly of collagen fibres and some elastic fibres. Their job is to support the arch of your foot and the muscles of the foot to help absorb your weight as you stand and walk. When the fibres are damaged, they get inflamed and cause pain especially when they are stretched. During the night or during periods of inactivity, the inflammation can increase so that when you first put weight on your feet the plantar fascia gets stretched more, hence the excruciating pain. When you walk for a short period, it moves the swelling out of the sole of the foot by the pumping action of the pressure which reduces the pain but does not change the damage to the fibres. If you walk for a long time or increase the load on the plantar fascia by jogging or running, then the pain will increase and may even get to the point where you cannot continue.
What are the causes?
If you look up plantar fasciitis online, you will see many causes such as worn out shoes, flat feet, high arches, wearing high-heeled shoes often, tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons, standing, walking or running for long periods of time, excessive weight, or your feet roll inwards excessively. While each of these causes may contribute to the development of the pain, there may be other factors involved. Is there a reason your feet roll inwards? Are your hips, knees and feet in proper alignment? Did something happen to cause you to subtly change how you walk? The painful foot just happens to be the location where your body has tried to adjust but was unable to do so.
What can you do at home?
You can reduce the activities which increase your pain. Change your footwear to something more supportive. You can try to reduce the inflammation in your foot to allow for better healing. Icing the sole of your foot for up to 15 minutes at a time can reduce the swelling or you could take an anti-inflammatory medication whether it be an over-the-counter medication such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve, or a natural anti-inflammatory such as Turmeric. Stretching and strengthening the sole of your foot and calf muscles gently may also help.
What can Awakening Health do to help you?
Awakening Health has four different practitioners that can help you recover.
Our physiotherapist will assess your alignment and biomechanics helping to identify all the factors that are involved in the development and maintenance of your foot pain. A complete exercise program that will address your individual needs will be provided in addition to advice on activities, orthotics and footwear.
Our massage therapist will help to work the soft tissue in your foot and leg reducing the pain and enhancing the blood flood and nutrients to the foot.
Our osteopathic practitioner will look at additional factors that can slow the recovery like abdominal tightness, fascial tightness and neurological issues.
Our naturopath will look at your nutrition and lifestyle, providing counseling, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and natural medicine to help improve your foot. Acupuncture can also be used to reduce symptoms.
This article contains health information. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide health care advice. For advice specific to your concern, please consult a regulated healthcare provider.