A large number of people in American society suffer from stabbing pains during the first few steps in the morning. There is a striking possibility that if you suffer from the same, you have plantar fasciitis. From the hallmark morning symptoms to feelings of discomfort and pain throughout the day—plantar fasciitis has a way of disabling your daily activities and even has an effect on your work life.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, as many as 60% of the cases associated with feet health suffer from severe heel pain. Although the plantar fasciitis pain is easy to ignore or overlook at first, the discomfort can progress and cause painful foot problems that are harder to deal with. Therefore, it is not wise to leave this condition unchecked.
This article will help you discover what plantar fasciitis feels like and help you figure out if you have it. Don’t worry. Even if you do, there are some great treatments, self-care tips, and even plantar fasciitis insoles that can help!
- 1 What is Plantar Fasciitis?
- 2 Who is More Susceptible To Plantar Fasciitis?
- 3 Some Treatments That Work
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition in your foot, whereas the thick band that connects your toes and the heel bone gets inflamed. This inflamed tissue is known as fascia, and it runs through the bottom of your foot. It is a common condition with treatment plans ranging from resting to surgery (depending on the severity).
What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like?
Some of the most seen symptoms can be stabbing pain in the heel, which is worse in the morning hours when you wake up. This pain can be triggered by standing for long hours and even jumping or running.
The major pain areas for plantar fasciitis are the foot and the heel. The most common pain that patients usually experience is a sharp, stabbing one. However, it can also manifest as foot sole pain, tenderness, swelling, and sometimes limping.
Plantar fasciitis is often misdiagnosed as a heel spur. However, the primary difference is the timing of the pain. Usually, individuals who have PF experience debilitating pain in the morning’s first few steps due to the overnight rest. This is due to the downward toe flex, which leads to a stiff plantar fascia due to the shortened position. During the first few steps of the day, the fascia stretches back out, which leads to incredible pain.
Who is More Susceptible To Plantar Fasciitis?
Although plantar fasciitis is a common condition and can happen to anyone, some individuals are at a higher risk of developing it than others. Check below to see what activities or pre-existing conditions can spike up your chances of getting this painful foot problem:
Individuals who are overweight are more susceptible or prone to developing plantar fasciitis. This is due to the human body composition that puts maximum weight on the feet. Often, this stress on the feet leads to many foot disorders and hampers day-to-day activities.
Some biomechanical issues can lead to the condition of plantar fasciitis. However, runners can develop plantar fasciitis for a variety of reasons. These factors include increasing training mileage or speed, wearing worn-out or uncomfortable running shoes, and even running on concrete or other hard surfaces.
The age that plantar fasciitis is most common between is from 40 to 60 years. Certain kinds of activities or exercises can trigger inflammation in the heel or attached tissue. Even minor activities like ballet dancing, aerobic dance, or light running can trigger the onset of plantar fasciitis.
Flat Feet & High Arches
Individuals with high arches and flat feet are also more prone to developing PF, irrespective of their age or pre-existing conditions. A flat foot refers to a low or missing arch in your foot when you’re standing. A straightforward method to check if you have flat feet is to dip your feet in the water and make an impression of your feet in a wet paper towel. If you do not see a space between your feet, you probably have flat feet.
Some Treatments That Work
You need not be discouraged by this foot condition as there are many ways to treat and even prevent plantar fasciitis. We are listing down some common and easy self-care tips along with intensive care treatments that you can discuss with your podiatrist if your pain persists:
Change Your Shoes
Your footwear can genuinely change the game. If you’re still wearing ill-fitted and uncomfortable shoes, you need to drop them. The first step toward better foot health is buying work-appropriate and well-cushioned shoes that can provide enough stability on the ground. If you are a runner, look for athletic shoes that can absorb shock and impact.
If you work a full-time retail job or are a policeman constantly on your feet, then opt for shoes that can make prolonged standing comfortable.
A good pair of shoes might not always be enough, so you need to pair them with insoles! Your feet need contoured support according to the type of arch. Otherwise, you can lose on supportive attributes. There are insoles available on the market certified by podiatrists that provide a deep heel cup to cradle your feet in the best sense.
Adding a stretching session to your routine can help. This is a mandatory step for you both pre and post-workout to avoid foot injuries, and heel spurs if you are a runner. From toe curls, calf stretches to different foot flexes can help alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis and even help you avoid other foot problems.
Your feet need a lot of rest, mainly because the fascia ligament’s pain usually occurs because of the undue amount of stress on your feet. It is advisable to take some time out and rest your feet, maybe put on an icepack, or even get a good massage. Anything that will destress your feet will work wonders for you.
In cases where your condition is not severe, your doctor can help you relieve the pain and make your daily activities more functional. They might prescribe you NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that can help reduce inflammation in your fascia.
When paired with other conservative treatments like physical therapy, you can discuss steroid injections with your doctor if you’re experiencing severe pain and inflammation. Some doctors might recommend a surgery called rotator cuff tears which involves repairing the fascia ligament when you’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked out quite well.
If you’re experiencing severe heel pain, it is time to check with your doctor for plantar fasciitis. It is a painful condition, but there are many treatments out there, from self-care, lifestyle changes to intensive care available for you. You can try braces, insoles, and splints that can help relieve you of inflammation while also including stretches and rest in your routine for better recovery. If nothing else seems to work, you can always seek podiatric help for more intensive options.
Dr Kristine has a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and currently assists our team of shoe experts by fact-checking and confirming the information presented to the readers. As a podiatrist, she has previously worked with numerous athletes, working professionals, and high to low activity individuals on the impacts of a lifestyle on their feet. She has submitted many research papers on the role of the correct footwear in foot health and how to take adequate care of your feet.
Previously, she worked in a foot clinic attached to a hospital, before she decided to have a private practice in 2012. She has more than 15 years of experience in foot health and has been incredibly gracious in providing her expertise to the Wearsty team! Her patients have ranged from ordinary people ailing with foot problems regarding obesity, old age, and foot stress—to athletes, runners, and workers who have demanding routines.