What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain. The pain is caused from the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the bones in your toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The pain is usually worse in the morning, or after hours of inactivity. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near your heel.
Who is at Risk for Plantar Fasciitis?
Exercise, age, body weight, build of the foot, and occupation all play a roll in determining who is at risk for plantar fasciitis. Most people with plantar fasciitis are between the ages of 40 and 60. Being overweight increase the risk because excess body weight increases stress on the fascia. Running, especially long distance running, as well as dance and jumping activities increase the risk for plantar fasciitis because there is a lot of strain on the heel of the foot. Exercises such as these may also increase the risk for early onset plantar fasciitis. Lastly, people who are flat footed, have very high arches, or have abnormal walking patterns are also at risk.
Why does Plantar Fasciitis Happen?
The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber, and if it is over worked, it can become torn at the microscopic level. If the tears are repetitive, the fascia can become inflamed or irritated. This leads to pain, but in other times, the origin of the pain is unknown.
I Really Want to Avoid Medications and Surgery. Can Plantar Fasciitis be Healed Naturally?
There are a couple of options to help you care for painful plantar fascia.
- If your plantar fasciitis is a results of over work and over exercise, then use the RICE method to help you heal. Rest the foot, ice the affected area, compress the area with a compression sock designed for plantar fasciitis, and elevate the feet to take the pressure off the bottom of the foot.
- Use very slow methodical yin yoga to gently stretch the entire the total body’s fascia. Plantar fasciitis is a symptom of tight fascia everywhere, you may need a loosening in the fascia in your back to really make a difference in your feet. It soundscrazy, but fascia is everywhere and it is all part of a network. To read more about fascia in general, come check out this post.
- Grab a FaceBlaster, and use it on the bottom of the foot to gently stretch fascia of the feet.
- Stretch your calf muscles. Place your hands on the wall, and extend a one leg out behind you until you feel a gentle pull in the calf muscle.
- Roll your legs on a foam roller. I prefer the foam rollers that have a grid on them, because the three dimensional surface allows the tissues to aerate while you roll. This helps to bring fresh blood and oxygen to the muscles, and therefore can help repairs go faster.
Want to Practice Yin Yoga with Me? where I teach yoga every month!