After waking up in the morning, one of the worst feelings to have is pain in your feet as you take your first steps to your coffee. It’s too early for you to deal with pain. Possibly, you were walking around all day yesterday at work. Add on a 6-mile run and some stairs, and do it for about a week.
Without support, you might be dealing with plantar fasciitis. This injury tends to be very common the older you get, especially middle-aged men and women. However, if you’re an athlete and are on your feet at work a lot, you can develop plantar fasciitis.
What exactly is plantar fasciitis? It is one of the most common causes of heel pain (Mayo Clinic, 2016). It is caused when you strain your plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel to your toes. The plantar fascia’s main job is to support the arch of your foot.
As plantar fasciitis is one of the more common running injuries there’s a lot of reasearch and treatment options available to athletes.
Therefore, when it is strain, you can expect it to become weak, swollen, irritated, and inflamed (WebMD, 2017). The inflammation causes your foot to hurt whenever you are standing or walking. Sometimes, the pain might reside after you walk for a little bit. However, it starts to come back as the day goes on and you get more mileage on your feet.
There are a few symptoms that you can look out for to see if you have plantar fasciitis. The most common symptom is pain when taking your first few steps after a long period in a resting position, whether that is sleeping or sitting down for a long time. This can feel like a stiffness in your foot, and it is normally accompanied by a little bit of pain (WebMD, 2017).
The pain is usually its worst after climbing stairs or standing for a long period of time (WebMD, 2017). However, pain begins in the morning when taking your first bit of action. If you are having trouble with pain at night, you might actually be suffering from arthritis.
When you go in to get it checked out, your doctor will ask you several questions. As always, they will ask about previous injuries. How long are you on your feet during the day? What physical activities do you do and how often? Most importantly, when are you feeling the pain?
It is important to know the symptoms so you can get treatment. However, it may even be better to know the causes of plantar fasciitis, so you can do your best to prevent it. So, what exactly causes it?
Medically, it is caused by straining the ligament that attaches your toes to your heel. If you continue to strain your plantar fascia over and over, you can get tears inside of the ligament that will cause inflammation. This what will lead to the pain and swelling inside of your foot.
There are a few things that will raise your risk of straining your plantar fascia. Excessive pronation raises your risk. This is when “your feet roll inward too much when you walk” (WebMD, 2017).
High arches or flat feet are another cause of strain. Walking, standing, or running for elongated periods of time on hard surfaces will increase your risk of plantar fasciitis. Being overweight or obese is another factor.
Wearing shoes that are too tight for your foot are another major factor. Worn out shoes are also bad for your plantar fascia. I always struggled with having decent shoes as a kid, which led to a lot of foot pain. Invest money in a decent pair of shoes (make sure you check out our guide to the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis), so you will not have to deal with as many injuries like plantar fasciitis.
Finally, have a very tight Achilles tendon or calf muscle can also cause a lot of issues. As with most running injuries, if you have tightness in one area, it can mess up everything. Make sure that you are stretching properly, otherwise you can increase your risk of a strain.
The other day I had to go see the trainer about calf tightness. They took an hour and a half to evaluate me to make sure that the tightness did not cause any other injuries. Make sure that you are taking care of your body with proper shoes and with proper stretching.
This is the time for good news, but maybe not the news you want to hear. Since plantar fasciitis normally develops over time due to other injuries, it can take a while to heal completely. You might have pain for a while.
If you got through treatment such as surgery or even essential oil massage, most pain will go away after a few weeks. However, it will take time for the pain to go away 100%. It can take a few months to a full year (WebMD, 2017). It will take longer if you do not stick with the treatment plan that your doctor prescribed.
If you do not continue with your treatment, you might start to suffer from pain constantly whenever you are standing, walking, or running. The earlier you catch the injury and start treatment or a joggers heel exercise routine, the quicker the pain will go away. Therefore, you should see a doctor if you feel like you might have plantar fasciitis.
Overall, plantar fasciitis strives from a strain on the ligament that attaches your heel to your toes. Straining the ligament repeatedly will cause tears to develop. This will lead to swelling, pain, and possibly inflammation.
A good pair of insoles can be an excellent way to manage the condition – we’ve put together a list of our top 3 insoles for plantar fasciitis which can help you choose the perfect pair for your feet and shoe type.
Normally, symptoms will include pain in your foot when you first take steps after an elongated rest period. The worst pain will probably come after standing for a very long period of time or walking up stairs.
If you start to experience pain, make sure to go to your doctor’s office right away to get evaluated. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker the pain will go away. It might reside mostly after a few weeks, but it can take up to a year to fully go away.