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Plantar Fasciitis - Causes and Remedies

24 August 2023

Plantar Fasciitis is a foot condition that affects millions of people every year. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Symptoms include heel pain, arch pain, and general discomfort in the feet. While there are many remedies for plantar fasciitis, some are more effective than others. Shortly, we will explore the causes and remedies for plantar fasciitis. But first, let's understand what Plantar fasciitis is.

Plantar Fasciitis at a Glance

If you have ever seen the anatomy of a foot, you will notice a tissue band running from the ball of your foot to the heel. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It supports the arch of your foot and helps you while walking. When this tissue is overstrained, it can become inflamed and lead to pain in the heel or sole. This condition is called plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis presents itself as a sharp pain that is felt at the bottom of the heel. The pain may also travel up through the arch and into the toes. This pain can occur in one or both feet and is usually worse after resting for long periods. It is most commonly seen in people who are on their feet, such as athletes, soldiers, and those working physically demanding jobs.

But it is also common among desk job workers who do not pay attention to their posture or the position of their feet when sitting. Plantar fasciitis can also result from wearing shoes that do not provide enough arch support or unusually tight calf muscles.

Diagnosis for plantar fasciitis is based on physical examination and medical history. Doctors will observe your gait and posture and may take x-rays to determine if there is an underlying bone issue causing the pain. In some cases, an ultrasound may assess how inflamed the tissue has become.



Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of different factors, including:

Shoes with Inadequate Support

Wearing shoes with inadequate support can weaken the plantar fascia and contribute to inflammation. Shoes that are too flat or those without adequate cushioning can put extra strain on your feet, leading to plantar fasciitis over time.

Overuse

If you participate in activities that involve repetitive strain on your feet, such as running or jumping, it may contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. This is because these activities place extra pressure on the tissue and cause it to become inflamed.

Sitting for Long Periods Without Breaks

Sitting for long periods without taking breaks can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is because when sitting with legs crossed, the feet are in an unnatural position and the plantar fascia can become overstretched.

Not Stretching Properly Before Exercise

Stretching your feet before participating in physical activity is essential to warm up the muscles and reduce strain on the tissue. If you do not stretch properly, it can lead to injury and inflammation.

Tight Muscles in Your Feet, Ankles, or Calves

Tight muscles around your ankles or calves can also contribute to plantar fasciitis. When these muscles are tight, they cause extra tension in the tissue, which can lead to inflammation.

High Arches or Flat Feet

Those with either unusually high arches or flat feet may be more prone to plantar fasciitis due to the extra strain placed on the tissue. Those with high arches have less shock absorption, and those with flat feet have increased pressure on the plantar fascia when walking.



Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Treating plantar fasciitis can involve rest and ice, stretching, medications, orthotics (arch supports), physical therapy, or surgery. The most important part of treatment is identifying the cause of the condition and addressing it appropriately. Let us look at some of the common treatments

Rest and Ice

This involves resting your feet as much as possible in order to reduce inflammation. Applying an ice pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time can also help reduce swelling.

Stretching

Stretching the muscles in your feet, ankles, and calves can help reduce strain on the plantar fascia. It is important to stretch regularly, both before and after exercise.

Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended by a doctor.

Orthotics

Custom orthotics can help support the feet when walking or running. These are particularly useful for those with high arches or flat feet.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises to improve flexibility and strength. They can also help with proper form when exercising.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis. Surgery typically involves releasing the tension on the plantar fascia and may involve cutting away a portion of the tissue.



Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Like many other conditions, prevention is probably the best cure for plantar fasciitis. In order to prevent plantar fasciitis from developing or recurring, it is essential to take measures to reduce strain on the feet and maintain flexibility. Some of these include:

Wear Supportive Shoes

Wearing shoes that provide adequate arch support and cushioning can help reduce strain on the feet. It is essential to replace worn-out shoes regularly as the padding can wear down over time.

Avoid Repetitive-Strain Activities

Some activities, such as running or jumping, involve repetitive strain on the feet, which can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. If you participate in these types of activities, take frequent breaks and modify your routine to reduce strain on your feet.

Take Breaks

Standing for long periods without taking breaks can put extra strain on the tissue in your feet. Make sure to sit down periodically throughout the day and give your feet a break.

Stretch Regularly

Stretching the muscles and tendons in your feet, ankles, and calves can help reduce strain on the plantar fascia. It is essential to stretch both before and after exercising.

Wear Orthotics

Custom orthotics can provide extra arch support when walking or running. They may be beneficial for those with high arches or flat feet.

Invest in Ergonomic Furniture

Investing in ergonomic furniture can also help reduce strain on your feet. Ergonomic chairs and footrests are designed to support the shape of your body and provide comfortable positioning for your feet.

Be Aware of Your Body Posture and Position

As highlighted above, one of the leading causes of plantar fasciitis is the improper position of the feet when sitting on a chair. Make sure to pay attention to your posture and position when sitting in order to reduce the strain on your feet. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor, not resting on their sides, heels, or toes. The more evenly balanced the weight on your feet is, the better they will resist painful conditions.

Similarly, if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you must ensure you stand by distributing your weight evenly on both feet. Standing with weight on one leg can put a lot of strain on it, leading to various painful conditions.

Also, remember to listen to your body when it gets tired. If you feel strained in any area of the body, it is essential to take a break and allow your body some time to rest. This will put your body in auto-repair mode and help relieve strain and pain.



Premium Standing Desk (E7)

Posture plays a vital role in preventing desk-related injuries. One of the best ways to attain proper posture is to use a height-adjustable desk, which ensures you can keep your focus areas at the correct height at all times. An adjustable desk allows you to change your posture while working, so you will not put all the strain on one area of your body for too long.

The Premium Standing Desk (E7) is BIFMA-certified and is renowned for its exceptional stability. You can adjust the height even when loaded at full capacity without worrying about tipping over.

The E7's base structure is made entirely of carbon steel of automotive-grade material quality. This ensures a sturdy and durable experience. The desk has thick legs and a precisely controlled gap of .05 mm between the stages, allowing for stable and smooth movement. FlexiSpot proudly offers a 15-year warranty on this durable desk.

Final Thoughts

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. Taking preventive steps such as wearing supportive shoes, avoiding repetitive strain activities, stretching regularly, investing in ergonomic furniture, and being aware of your body posture can help reduce the risk of developing this condition. An adjustable desk like the Pro Plus Standing Desk E7 can also help prevent injuries related to incorrect posture.

Take proper care of your feet and pay attention to your body's positioning throughout the day. You will be on track to reduce the chances of plantar fasciitis from developing or recurring. Good luck!