How To Know If You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
One spring day I was down in Florida for a family vacation and I woke up and took a step down and I thought I had broken my foot the pain was so bad. I limped around the beach for the next 3 days and continued to have pain. I got back to college after spring break and was walking to class and still had foot pain. I thought it would just go away with time, but that did not happen. Finally I decided I needed to go into the doctor’s office to find out what was going on with my foot.
Turns out I had Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is where the bottom fascia of the foot thickens and become inflamed. When the foot is in a relaxed position the fascia is relaxed and the elastin fibers are wavy and unstressed. When tension is applied, like walking, the fascia’s fibers straighten; increasing the amount of stress the foot can withstand and still return to its normal resting condition. The plantar fascia distributes the stress applied to the foot and lower extremity during weight bearing activities. As repetitive loads caused by these activities are applied to the fascia and the tissue breaks down the fascia becomes stiff and then it develops into plantar fasciitis.
Some signs and symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include
- onset of pain which starts at the heel and goes to the toes
- pain in the morning right when you wake up and take that first step out of bed
- increased pain with activity on the bottom of your foot
- Every once and awhile people may have noticeable swelling over the bottom inside edge of the foot.
- Stretching your calf and soleus 3 x 90 seconds
- Roll your foot over a bottle of frozen water, rolling pin, or tennis ball. To prevent discomfort do not roll the heel over the object. Also start in a seated position to control the pressure applied to the bottom of the foot.
- Ice for 20 minutes
- Stretch your foot prior to getting out of the bed in the morning
- Insoles for your shoes – these are not always necessary, but I use them and won’t go without them in my shoes now. I have used 20 dollar ones from sporting good stores and I have also used ones designed specifically for my feet, both have worked great for me.
Plantar Fasciitis is usually a chronic condition, so you must continue to stretch and roll your foot out as soon as you are feeling symptoms. Some things which may help you keep plantar fasciitis bouts away would be wearing supportive shoes, not wearing flip flops or walking around barefoot.
If you are having pain in the bottom of your heel and foot, please see your physical therapist or athletic trainer to see if you have plantar fasciitis. We would love to help you feel better!