Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by the swelling or irritation of the plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is the thick, web-like ligament that runs the length of your foot and connects the heel to the front of the foot, allowing you to walk. The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot and acts as a shock absorber as you walk. When this ligament becomes inflamed, you feel the pain in your heel. For many people, they feel the pain upon first waking up in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. Wearing supportive shoes and foot massage tends to help make walking bearable but does little to treat the underlying cause. Here, we will discuss some ways to avoid developing plantar fasciitis and treatment options available.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A major contributing factor to plantar fasciitis is the weight and stress put on your feet. If you are overweight, the excess weight can stress your feet walking or standing, just as much as running a marathon can for someone who is underweight. When you walk or stand, your feet are responsible for carrying the entire load of your bodyweight. This becomes difficult when an ideal body weight is exceeded and continues to become an increasing problem as the body weight continues to increase. To help avoid plantar fasciitis and foot pain, maintain a healthy weight.
Wear Proper Footwear
A common cause of plantar fasciitis is improper arch support. Whether you are on your feet all day on the job or you are a runner, wearing proper shoes will eliminate a lot of foot, leg, and back issues. If you stand or walk all day, it is important to wear shoes that offer support that fits your foot taking into account proper size, cushion, and arch support. Loafers are preferred over high heels and even steel-toed boots have different fits. If you run long-distance, it is important to ensure that you are wearing supportive shoes that are not worn for other activities. Worn out shoes can quickly cause problems, regardless of the activity, they are worn to perform.
Stretching is important for a variety of reasons, not to mention it just feels good! Even if you are not exercising (but, especially if you are), stretching every now and again is good for maintaining good body function and performance. A common cause of plantar fasciitis is tight calf muscles and stiff ankles. Do some calf stretches to help keep your plantar fascia loose and limber.
If you do develop plantar fasciitis, treating it can be a lengthy, painful process, but it is possible to recover and become pain-free. First, you’ll want to make sure that you have supportive shoes, which you may find you wear much more than you ever wore shoes before, to give your arch maximal support. Massage and stretching also helps loosen the ligament and make walking more comfortable. While some pain medication may help reduce the pain and inflammation that causes the pain, it is not a long-term solution. Regenerative medicine including stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy offers safe, long-term solutions and real pain relief!
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or other chronic pain, contact us at Stem Cell Carolina to schedule your consultation.