Ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Your plantar fascia feels that way all the time. This fibrous band of tissue supports your arch, running the length of your sole from heel to toes, and when it gets stretched and torn—a condition known as plantar fasciitis—it can put you in a world of misery.
While plantar fasciitis is unfortunately common and can be quite painful—especially among runners, pregnant women, and those who are overweight—it is not inevitable. Here are some top tips for preventing this frustrating form of heel pain:
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Every pound you can shed from the reading on your bathroom scale reduces the effective load on your feet by several pounds, since they’re not just supporting you but also the downward force of every step.
- Take time to stretch and warm up before engaging in athletic activity. Tight or stiff calves, Achilles tendons, and ankles can pull on the plantar fascia, causing it to stretch and tear.
- Avoid too much high-impact or plantar-stretching exercise in a short time frame. Mix it up with some different kinds of exercise, including low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling. Make sure you get plenty of rest (especially if you start feeling tight) and don’t push yourself too hard, too soon—especially with new activities.
- Make sure you have enough cushioning in your shoes, particularly at the heel. Avoid shoes that are worn-out, old, or don’t fit your foot well (either too big or too small). If you don’t know what to look for, check out a specialty running store like Bob Roncker’s Running Spot—they’ll help you find something to fit your foot shape.
- Those with unusually high or low arches are at extra risk for developing this condition. In these cases, arch supports or orthotics can decrease your risk of complications.
When foot pain rocks your world, you don’t have to live with it. Plantar fasciitis may start with relatively mild heel pain every morning when you take your first steps out of bed, but without treatment the symptoms typically worsen, rather than go away. Call Family Foot and Ankle Center and schedule your appointment today. With 6 Greater Cincinnati locations, we’re right in your neighborhood. Give us a call at (513) 728-4800 in Ohio or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky.