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Foot pain!

With the weather (maybe) warming up in Chicago, I wanted to write a post for all the runners and walkers out there!

Today I’m focusing on foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fascia?

Let’s back up a second- plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that lies on the bottom of the foot. It’s main job is to provide stability to the bottom of the foot and assist in maintaining a good arch.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

This is one diagnosis I come across often both in my clinical practice and from friends/family. This diagnosis can hit anyone whether you are a runner, weight lifter, walker, or weekend warrior- it plays no favorites! Usually, this occurs due to over stretching of the plantar fascia in a weight bearing situation over a period of time. When all the foot muscles are functionally strong, we maintain a good arch in our foot and give the plantar fascia an optimal environment. However if these muscles are weak, or lack appropriate muscular endurance for the task you are performing, the arch is not well maintained and the plantar fascia gets over stretched. This over stretching then causes tightness and inflammation of the plantar fascia. Over stretching leads to pain!

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

– Sharp pain in the bottom of the foot or feet, especially in the morning.

– Tenderness with touching of the bottom of the foot.

– Pain in the bottom of the foot with walking, running, weight lifting, standing, etc.

Treatment:

– Roll a tennis ball or lacrosse ball on bottom of foot.

– Freeze a water bottle of water and roll on foot.

– Supportive footwear.

– Supportive orthotics (with good arch support), not the squishy gel kind!

– Stretch those calves!

– Towel curls.

– Alphabet writing with ankle.

Prevention:

– Stretch your calves out.

– Make sure you are wearing footwear with good arch support. Looking at you ladies! Yes you- the ones that wear those stylish flats and boots to work. Those shoes have no support! Although they are stylish. So it’s ok to wear them but if you start to experience pain try on some supportive gym shoes and see if that helps.

– Using supportive shoewear: I recommend New Balance, Brooks, Asics, and Saucony. Although there are other great options out there as well! I recommend going to a running store to get fitted for the proper shoe for you if you haven’t found a pair that works yet!

As always, comment your thoughts below! What is your experience with plantar fasciitis? What are your favorite supportive shoes?

Contact us with questions!

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

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