The most common foot pain – Plantar fasciitis

The most common foot pain especially in runners, people who stand/walk a lot, overweight and middle aged people is plantar fasciitis. The Plantar fascia is the tough ligament that supports the arches of your feet from toe to heel and interconnects with your achilles tendon and calve muscles. Hence one of the reasons for developing plantar fasciitis are tight calve muscles.  Massage therapy is helpful to loosen up tight calve muscles and achilles tendons and can be a valuable addition to the treatment. Plantar fasciitis is the condition that develops when the ligament at the sole of your foot (the plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed. The signs and symptoms of it are usually heel pain, pain in the sole of the foot that is most painful upon arising, when the tissue temperature is lower and the ligament is stiff. Often people with plantar fascia will hobble first when they get out of bed and the pain will usually ease off when the foot has warmed up. To test whether your pain is likely to be plantar fasciitis as opposed to heel spur pain, try standing on your toes. Plantar fascitiis sufferers will have an increased pain sensation with this. Strategies to help heel your plantar fascia are:

  • rest and avoid hill running or walking for a while
  • avoid running or walking on hard surfaces (walk on grass verges if possible)
  • ice the sole of your foot
  • take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (follow instructions)
  • wear cushioned shoes with good arch- and heel support. (avoid sandals and flip-flops)
  • stretch your calves and perform towel stretches several times a day. This will stretch your ligament and strengthen the muscles around the ankle
  • buy heel cups in sport shoe store  (wear in both shoes)
  • see a podiatrist for proper orthotics

Unfortunately ligaments are slow healing tissues and it is not uncommon for an injury to take up to 12 months to heal Want to read more about ways of treating plantar fascitis?