A right pain in the foot...
...the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis
It is a common condition that can affect one in 10 people in the UK but especially those over 40, the overweight and people who run or jog on a regular basis.
The pain can often feel like deep intense stabbing pain (similar as if you're standing on small stone (or piece of Lego in my house)) it's usually worse in the morning and can often build up over time.
Having suffered with this condition myself I know how debilitating it is especially if you are training for an event or are an active individual. Runners may notice the pain kicking in after their first few miles. It's caused when the band of tissue on the underside of the foot called the planter fascia becomes inflamed and thickens making it incredibly difficult to walk, stand or run. Other symptoms may include tight Achilles, poor range of movement in the foot and stiffness in the calf. If left untreated pain can also travel to the outside of the knee and into to the hip and glute area.
So, what can be done to ease the symptoms?
Plantar Fasciitis can often be caused by extreme tightness in the muscles of the lower leg or in the hamstrings. Often in runners it can be tight hip flexors that pull on the muscles and tissues of the outer leg, initially this can result in an ache of the outer knee.
These muscles can in turn pull on the Achillies tendon which causes tension in the plantar fascia.
A thorough massage will assist in relaxing all those tight muscles in the calves, achilles and possibly the hamstrings and clear any debris/ congestion, bring in fresh nutrients and help break down the tight plantar fascia in the foot, leaving your legs and feet feeling loose and increase the range of movement.
Ice - is always a great anti-inflammatory and will ease the pain.
Rest - keep off those feet and bathe then in Epsom Salts.
Stretch - Make time to stretch out those calves, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors.
When at home try not to wear any shoes or slippers let the foot be in its natural state. And runners make sure you change your trainers regularly and fit appropriate orthotics and supports if needed.
In between bouts of pain you can always roll your foot along a frozen bottle of water or other people like to use a golf ball to try and break down the fascia (this is only advised when your foot is not inflamed and painful).
If you are suffering with this at the moment- you have my sympathy and as always if you have any questions/ comments, fire away!!!