To quote Callie Khouri of Thelma & Louise, "Always, in all circumstances, wear comfortable shoes. You never know when you may have to run for your life”. And if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, we’re sure you would agree. Movement is essential — we stand, walk, run, and jump on our feet many times a day. This is painful when you have plantar fasciitis. So let’s talk about this condition and see how you can still move around comfortably.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a tissue that spreads from your heel toward your toes. It is the ligament that maintains the arch in your foot. Over a period of time, the ligament could undergo wear and tear, causes of which we will read about shortly, thereby leading to pain. This inflammation is ‘plantar fasciitis’, and it affects over 2 million Americans each year.
What Causes This?
Your feet carry your body weight every time you stand up. Many factors could overly stretch your fascia. Some factors that contribute are:
- Constant running (especially if you’re a long-distance runner, or have recently gotten involved in sports)
- Pregnancy (more common towards the third trimester)
- Obesity (causes increased pressure on your foot muscles)
- Wearing the wrong footwear (uncomfortable, ill-fitting, high-heeled shoes)
- Standing on your feet all day (certain occupations like nursing, waiting tables)
- Flat feet (foot structural problems that also include high arches)
It’s pretty clear that continuous pressure over a period of time will lead to damage. This, in turn, causes pain and discomfort. There are many things you could do at home to feel better. These include exercises for the feet that should be recommended by your doctor. You could try foot massages, elevating your feet, or applying a cold compress. A simple lifestyle change that helps best is wearing comfortable shoes. Shoe soles deteriorate over continuous usage. Their ability to absorb pressure when you walk also drops. Wear supportive shoes even when you're at home. Supportive house shoes with adequate cushioning and the right arch support can help with the pain. Don't walk barefoot if you suffer from this condition — it could make things worse for you. Instead, opt for supportive slippers for hardwood floors that would otherwise be very uncomfortable barefoot.