Plantar Fasciitis is a condition characterized by pain in the heel and arch of the foot, plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, the thick tissue that sits across the bottom of the foot and is responsible for connecting the bone of the heel to the toes. This vital tissue is susceptible to strain, being overworked, underused and everything in between, which can contribute to the condition of plantar fasciitis where the tissue becomes swollen.
When your feet are healthy and your plantar fascia tissue is not inflamed or under stress, the tissue normally behaves like a shock-absorbing string that helps to protect the arch of the foot and the base of the heel from shock impact when you walk or run. If the tissue is overstressed, it can become strained to the point where small tears can appear. When plantar fascia tissue becomes torn and the stretching of the tissue continues, it can become inflamed and painful. The tissue can also get tighter, which in turn limits the flow of blood that courses through the tissue.
When this happens, a number of painful symptoms can occur. These include, most commonly, a stabbing, sharp pain that shoots across the foot when you first get out of bed in the morning. It can also occur when you stand up after long periods of inactivity or even after standing for a while. Usually throughout the day as you walk, the pain will gradually decrease, but because this condition is quite persistent, it typically returns.
Oftentimes, those who experience plantar fasciitis are those who exercise a lot, especially those who run frequently. Alongside runners, this condition oftentimes affects those who wear shoes that don't fit properly or don't have the right type of support along the heels and arches. Because this condition has the possibility of affecting such a broad spectrum of people, there are certain risk factors of plantar fasciitis other than poor-fitting shoes that should be taken into consideration to lower the chances of it happening to you.
Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
- If you are severely overweight, the additional pounds may put too much stress and tension on the delicate tendon that can contribute to its tightening.
- Studies have shown that plantar fasciitis is a condition that is common amongst those who are between the ages of 40 and 80.
- Standing for long periods of time. Those who work in places that require excess standing around on hard surfaces, including teachers, factory workers, cashiers and similar occupations, run the risk of developing plantar fasciitis; walking or standing for many hours can place unnecessary amounts of stress on the tissue.
- The natural shape of the foot. Those who have irregularly high arches, flat feet or even those who walk in an abnormal way may be at a higher risk.
If plantar fasciitis is ignored, the chances of chronic heel pain that gets in the way of daily life is elevated. You can try to change the way or the frequency that you walk or stand, and you can take measures to heal or prevent plantar fasciitis with foot alignment socks. These sorts of socks help to open up the toes, especially the big toe which can help to relieve the tension while allowing the tissue to heal.
The factor coming into play with the big toe being out of alignment is that the further inward the big toe points, the more it stretches the plantar fascia which puts additional pressure on the soft tissue underneath it. If this tissue is compressed for long enough, it could start to die from the long term lack of circulation in the area. Click here for more information why most plantar fasciitis treatments are wrong.
When you look at the various factors that can be involved with the development of plantar fasciitis, prevention is the best course of action. If symptoms have already appeared, following a gentle stretching routine including the regular wearing of foot alignment socks can help to reduce or relieve much of the associated pain and discomfort.