Have you ever experienced sore arches after wearing uncomfortable shoes or being on your feet all day? Do you ever feel pain underneath your feet after a particularly rigorous aerobic workout? If this happens frequently or becomes very painful, then you may be suffering from something called plantar fasciitis. This is a very common foot injury that can occur for a number of reasons, and in people of a variety of different ages.
In simple terms, plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that stretches across the soles of your feet, also know as the plantar fascia. This starts from the heel and goes right the way to the front of your foot. When this tissue becomes inflamed it can cause pain under the heel and often on the inside of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is also known as ‘policeman’s heel’ as it’s very common in those who stand up all day or tend to do a lot of walking around. We put a lot of pressure on the bottom of our feet during physical activity, so it’s the arches that take a lot of the strain. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they can get a little sore and overworked sometimes.
As this area usually tightens up overnight, those suffering with plantar fasciitis will notice that the pain will often be worse in the morning. It can also be worse after more activity is performed or just as the day goes on. As the area becomes so sensitive, it may also become tender to the touch and appear slightly swollen. Those suffering will also find it difficult to stretch this area, making it painful to walk for too long.
As this area is particularly affected by how much weight and pressure we apply to our feet, it’s understandable that runners and athletes often suffer from this condition. Training on a different surface can trigger the onset on plantar fasciitis, as well as poor technique, limited cushioning and footwear support, and general overuse or sudden stretching of the tendon. It’s not just common in those who are excessively active though, as people who are overweight or have naturally low or high arched feet are candidates for plantar fasciitis too. It can also occur in those who simply wear the wrong type of footwear, as it’s a basic result of repetitive over-stretching of the area, which is why the tendons eventually thicken and become inflamed.
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