What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fascia is a white band of ligament like a shape of bamboo fan with five branches that connects your heel bone to your five toes. Then, this one forms a domed foot to reduce shock as walking and running.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common reason of heel pain, in particular, happening to walkers, overweight people, and others wearing shoes with non-cushioned insoles.
Plantar Fasciitis causes a sensation of stabbing pain in nearly the heel. You can feel this annoyance starts at the first steps after awakening. Although this problem will reduce when your foot begins to move, it can come back after a long time of standing or after standing up from a seated position.
In addition, other symptoms are ankylosising, mild swelling on the heel and numbing the foot because of tamponade of plantar fascia nerves. Plantar fasciitis inflammation often makes you are more painful when you tiptoe that distinguish this pain from other problems with the heel bone.
The plantar fasciitis is completely a degenerative process with fibroblast proliferation. In normal circumstances, plantar fascia play a role as a shock-absorbing bowstring supporting the arch of the foot. If tension on this bowstring is too great, some small tears can created in the fascia, and you feel painful so bad. If this problem occurs regularly, it can become irritation and inflammation, causing chronic degeneration.
The elements increasing the inflammation of plantar fasciitis consist of:
- Age: Old age reduces flexibility of plantar fascia and atrophy fatty tissues on the heel area, especially the most popular in the age of 40 to 60 and twice in female than in male.
- Obesity: Overweight create a high pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Physical activities: Overload of practicing some physical activities such as walking, running, climbing, dancing and aerobic in the long-term period leads to form a big tension on the heel and near tissues. As running, vertical gravity impacts on the foot may be two or three times higher than body weight.
- Improper shoes: If you wear thin-soled, non-cushioned and loose shoes to practice some activities or walk every day, your feet do not be protected causing strain on the plantar fascia ligament.
- Career: Workers, teachers and people regularly walking or standing on the solid surfaces and carrying heavy things.
- Faulty foot mechanics: Flat foot or over pronation, high arched and the way you walk can be reasons increasing added stresses on the plantar fascia.
- Other factors: family tendency, diseases such as arthritis and diabetes.
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Treatment always is a combination between changing habit of walking and standing, losing weight, rest, medicines, physical therapy and tools to support, especially proper exercises to reduce plantar fasciitis.
1. Calf stretching
- Stand facing a wall and then step up one leg front.
- Keep back knee straight and back heel on the floor, then gradually shrink front knee and lean toward the wall to supply a tension on overall calf.
- Hold that position for about 30 seconds. Do not too tense, just gently and non-painful in the calf and the plantar fascia ligament under the foot.
- Practice this exercise at least 10 times in the morning and the evening.
2. Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretching
- Sit on the ground with the legs and knees straight in front of you.
- Put a towel around the foot.
- Hold the towel tight and pull it back to stretch plantar fascia.
- Keep this position for about 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat it 2 to 4 times.
- Put the foot on a towel on a smooth surface and then scrunch it toward you with the toes.
- Next, push the towel away from you by the toes.
- Repeat this exercise about 8 to 10 times.
- Place marbles on the floor near a cup.
- Try to lift them up with the toes and then drop them in the cup.
- Repeat this exercise about 2 to 3 times.
- Stand with the middle of foot on stair.
- Gradually stretch the heel toward below.
- Hold this position about 30 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise 3 times per day.
- Put a tennis ball on the floor lightly rolling it under the foot for 60 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise at least 5 times.
- Note: Place enough force on the ball to create a deep massage for plantar fascia.
4. Muscle straining as working
To review and advance effectively of the tendon stretching exercises, you should practice more muscle straining as working as much as possible to create a good habit for your health.
- Sit close to the edge of the chair to stretch the legs and the heels on the floor under the table.
- Hold the knees straight, push the foot toward to you to make a light tension on the legs.
- Keep this position for about 30 seconds and then slowly return it the initial position.
- Repeat this exercise about 20 times.
- Try to practice 20 times every 2 hours.
- Note: Non-painful in the legs and the plantar fascia.
5. Other exercise
- To manage inflammation and pain, you can use ice cube or ice cup to massage injured area about 2 to 3 times every day. This temporary treatment can reduce the annoyance in a short time. You should combine some exercises above and other treatment to cure this plantar fasciitis.
- Use your hand to pull the toes up until feel a stretch. Keep for 30 seconds and then repeat 2 to times per day.
Besides above effective ways to practice, you need to notice some exercises stretching the legs and the plantar fascia ligament can be worsen the plantar fasciitis inflammation. You should to avoid completely exercises creating a strong tension on the heel and using the great pressure on the toes to practice quickly. These exercise can make the plantar fascia is too tense and increase more painful.