The #1 most common foot pain complaint today is Plantar Fasciitis. Do you really know what it is other than a pain in your foot so severe you don’t even want to get up and walk? Why is it so common? Realize this, our bodies are like a very complicated piece of machinery. Each part designed to do a specific job, the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the nose to smell, the feet to walk and run. We use all those parts just like they were intended to be used except the feet. Your feet were designed to walk on the earth. The earth is a lumpy bumpy uneven terrain made up of lots of different types of surfaces, everything from soft sand to grass to rock. The surfaces we walk on 90% of the time are flat, hard, and very dense, such as hardwood, concrete, and asphalt. Carpeting is more forgiving but there is still a hard flat surface underneath. So if we are not using our feet the way they were intended to be used, no wonder we have problems.
Most cases of Plantar Fasciitis are due to an overuse syndrome of some kind like excessive walking or running, playing sports without the use of proper foot support, climbing ladders or steps when not use to them, wearing flip flops and going barefoot. Allot of people complain of Plantar Fasciitis after a trip to Disney World or Las Vegas where they have done an excessive amount of walking in a relatively short period of time.
Another aspect as to why Plantar Fasciitis is so common is the shoe industry. Who ever taught you how to fit your shoes? Most people now days self fit their shoes and have never been taught how to do it properly. Have you ever been to a Certified Shoe Fitter, or Certified Pedorthist (a pharmacist for your feet)? These are people that are actually trained to properly fit and support your shoes just for your needs. Shoes come in mirror matched images, feet do not. Not to mention neither one of the shoes you purchase were ever made for the exact specifications of either one of your feet. So how can you expect the shoes you buy to be the exact right fit for your feet? Having properly fitting footwear is just an important as getting the right sized tires for your car. Don’t trust your feet to just any shoe salesman, seek out a trained professional, someone Certified to size fit and alter your shoes so you can have the best fit possible.
Follow these recommendations for dealing with a case of Plantar Fasciitis and you can be on your way to pain free feet in as little as one week.
1. Don’t wait to treat. An inflamed fascia left untreated will only be harder to heal in the long run.
2. Ice, ice and more ice. Treat this like an injury. Ice reduces the inflammation. 10 minutes on 20 minutes off, or as often as possible. That and an anti-inflammatory such as Tylenol work wonders.
3. Buy and use a night splint. This is an apparatus you wear on your foot at night during sleep to hold it in a proper position for healing. This is probably one of the best things you can do to speed the healing process. When you sleep your body sends messages to heal. Your feet go into a relaxed position and the fascia is shortened. Holding your foot/feet in a right angle during sleep will elongate the fascia and proper healing can take place. This if vital for a speedy recovery.
4. Buy and use a proper bio-mechanically designed custom orthotic. All custom orthotics are not created equal. Some are designed to stop the motion of the foot. These are referred to as accommodated custom orthotics. Their purpose if to limit motion and are only recommended for less active people or people with rigid motionless feet in the first place. However, a bio-mechanically designed custom orthotic like the ezWalker Custom Orthotic found at www.walkezstore.com is designed to enhance the function of your feet and improve the overall foot health. A healthy functioning foot will be less likely to become injured, and will strengthen the internal tissues over time. This will create better foot health and that translates into better overall health for the entire body.
5. Make sure your shoes fit properly and never go barefoot. Going barefoot gives no support at all and might just be the reason you can’t get rid of the pain in the first place. See www.walkezstore.com/shoesizing.php for information on how to properly fit shoes on your feet. It is important to learn where your foot should sit inside a shoe and not be so worried about the size on the box, as shoes sizes vary from different manufacturers. Improperly fitted footwear is one of the biggest reasons Plantar Fasciitis is such a wide spread problem.
All of the above recommendations have been proven to speed healing of Plantar Fasciitis, however if you are following these guidelines and your pain persists or worsens, you should call your Dr. for a proper diagnosis as something more severe may be going on.