We get to the bottom of this common condition
One of the conditions we frequently see at Foot Factor is Plantar Fasciitis, more commonly recognised as heel pain. It affects walkers, runners, golfers, tennis players and other sports disciplines alike and we see people of all ages with this complaint – it isn’t confined to one age bracket or gender.
What are the symptoms?
Most clients report a sharp stabbing pain on or around the base of the foot in the heel and arch area, that is most profound first thing in the morning when getting out of bed and taking the first few steps. Not the happiest way to start your day.
Why does it occur?
The plantar fascia is a ligament that lies along the base of the foot. Shaped like a bow string, it acts as a shock absorber supporting the arch of the foot as you walk.
It is designed to absorb the stresses and strains we place on our bodies during everyday life and exercise, however too much tension and stress causes tiny tears in the ligament leading to inflammation, stiffness and pain.
Possible causes can include:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Tight calves
- Sudden increase in volume of exercise
- Repetitive high impact activity
- Being on your feet all day
- Wearing the wrong footwear with poor cushioning
In the first instance, the RICE technique should be applied: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation to give the inflammation a chance to calm down.
Once the situation is stabilised you can consider gradually increasing stretches to release tight calves and work on the flexibility of the plantar fascia itself. Exercise guide*
Bespoke orthotics are designed to provide cushioning and support to suit your unique gait, foot type and foot shape. Cushioning protects the heel from impact whilst the right arch support will cradle the foot and take the tension off the plantar fascia assisting healing and preventing further aggravation.
Prevention is better than cure
If you are beginning to notice heel pair, or are a keen runner, walker or have a sporting passion, it is well worth considering having orthotics fitted as a matter of course. Bespoke orthotics create the ideal interface between your footwear and your feet, giving a bespoke fit and providing a host of benefits:
In fact, orthotics play a part in both the prevention and rehabilitation of plantar fasciitis!
* Please follow exercise guidance with care, if you experience any pain we recommend that you stop and seek advice from a medical practitioner.