The most popular cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This is a condition whereby plantar fascia gets inflamed, swollen, or weak. As such the foot bottom or heel starts hurting when it presses down. The plantar fascia is a ligament that joins the heel to the foot and facilitates movement. Plantar fasciitis most common during middle age and it can happen to younger people who are very active such as the soldiers or athletes. Let’s look at the factors that lead to this condition.
Obese people have a 70% higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis. The problem of being overweight is that you tend to make shorter strides when walking and carry yourself with a sedate gait. These are some of the factors that create more pressure to the ligament hence weakening it.
- Tight Achilles tendons
Tight Achilles tendons make dorsiflexion of the foot so hard such that you are unable to slant your toes toward the torso while sited. This problem encourages the development of plantar fasciitis.
- Ill-fitting shoes
Poor-fitting shoes can encourage plantar fasciitis due to insufficient arch support, impaired ankle plantarflexion, and poor foot dorsiflexion.
- Poor walking styles
Inappropriate gait can trigger the onset of plantar fasciitis. If you make long and firm heel-down strides, you are more likely to develop the problem due to the pressure that you put on your heel. Try to make shorter strides that don’t create forceful landing of your heel. This is especially imperative for soldiers and professional runners.
This is a no-brainer, especially during the last trimester. Pregnant mothers tend to have swollen feet due to the extra weight that comes with pregnancy. The feet usually flatten due to a shift in body posture which is a major trigger of plantar fasciitis.
- Imbalance of the length of the leg
When the two legs differ in length, they pose a risk of plantar fasciitis development. The longer leg experiences increased pressure hence the postural balance is hampered.
Common plantar fasciitis remedies
There is no single plantar fasciitis treatment that works on its own. Patients are supposed to try varied treatment plans. To help your heel get better, try the following:
- Wear a good shoe with arch support and a cushioning sole. You can add shoe inserts or heel cups and use them for both feet.
- Minimize physical activities and don’t run on dangerous surfaces
- Stretch your toes often particularly in the morning as soon as you wake up
- Use ice on your foot to minimize swelling. You can also take some painkillers
- Buy plantar fasciitis splints through doctor’s recommendations
- Consider plantar fasciitis surgery if all the above methods don’t work after trying for 6-12 months
If you think you have plantar fasciitis, consult a doctor immediately. It is important to get the correct diagnosis because sometimes the condition may be confused with Achilles tendonitis which is totally different.