Plantar fasciitis is a common issue for many people especially those who run regularly. Put simply it presents as heel pain. It is also commonly seen to occur in conjunction with heel spurs.
While many think this is a bone related issue it is in fact a connective tissue problem. This tissue supports your foot, particularly your arch. You may have heard people refer to having sore or fallen arches when discussing foot pain.
The pain presents in the heel and sometimes also is felt on the underside of the foot below your arch. In some cases it can also be found as a secondary injury along with achilles tendon or tight calf issues.
Cause of Plantar Fasciitis
While there is no one cause for Plantar fasciitis it is most common in runners who over pronate when they run. This means the foot rolls to one side on contact with the ground leading to increased pressure on a smaller part of the foot.
It also occurs with overuse or overtraining and standing for long periods of time. This could be a combination of a job which requires mostly standing and then a running injury.
Often it can be hard to spot as while there is pain there usually isin’t any swelling or inflammation as seen in other leg injuries.
Treatment & Management
I’m sorry to say the solution in most cases to this irritating injury is not fast or easy. Resting and stretching are the main treatments in most cases. Stretching can be quite painful and in bad cases there can be pain even in a resting position. Therefore pain management is also usually needed in the initial phase.
If this simple solution is not working then more enhanced treatment may be needed from a Physiotherapist or Doctor. In certain cases a plantar fasciitis brace or insoles may be required. This would be under the advice of a professional so it is always best to consult with them first.
In the most extreme cases surgery or other medical treatments may be required although this is generally in the minority of people.
Overall about 1 person in 10 will experience plantar fasciitis. Of course this is generally higher in those who run on a regular basis as the frequent over pronation or other related injuries can have an impact.
It can also be a repeat ailment for many runners who fail to implement strengthening exercises and injury management when needed.
So there you have it. If you think it may be an issue for you, rest up, seek treatment and don’t rush your comeback. Your feet will thank you in the long run!