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Plantar Fasciitis – What can you do about it?

Heel pain is one of the most common injuries we see at Sporting Feet. Usually the cause of this pain is Plantar Fasciitis, and it doesn’t just affect runners.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is the term used to describe the inflammation of the Plantar Fascia, or the band of tissue that forms the arch of the foot and connects the toes to the heel. The main symptom is a sharp pain or dull ache in the bottom of the foot, which can be worse first thing in the morning or after long periods of inactivity.

What causes it?

There are many things that can cause or contribute to the development of Plantar Fasciitis.

Some of these things are biomechanical flaws, such as having a particularly high or low arch, or tight Achilles tendons. People who over pronate (their ankles roll inwards when walking or running) are also at risk.

Footwear can also play a part. Wearing high heels and then switching to flats, or wearing shoes with thin soles and no arch support can strain the arch. For runners, wearing worn out trainers without the right level of support can have an effect too.

How to treat it

Like most things, Plantar Fasciitis is easier to treat the earlier you catch it. So at the first sign of pain, start making some changes to help your feet recover.

Massage and stretch your feet a few times a day. Try rolling a golf ball or PediRoller underneath the arch. Even if there’s pain in only one foot, it’s important to stretch both.

Having arch support in your shoes can make the world of difference. The vast majority of shoes won’t have this kind of support built in, so adding a suitable insole is the best option. There’s plenty of types out there, but in our experience its best to go for a full length sports insole to put in trainers, and a half insole for day shoes where there’s not much room. Wearing insoles can not only treat Plantar Fasciitis, but can also prevent it.

For runners, making sure you’re in the right pair of shoes is very important, so have a gait analysis done when you buy your trainers. If you start to feel pain, cut down your training, run on soft surfaces and make sure you stretch.

If your symptoms persist, the next step is to see a trained Physiotherapist or Podiatrist.

At Sporting Feet, we’re happy to give you advice concerning insoles or other treatments. We can also refer you to some great local Physiotherapists and Podiatrists if needed.

During March 2015, we’re also offering 20% off our sports insoles when bought with any adult shoe.

Vikki Charman works at Sporting Feet

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