You’ve heard friends or family complain of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick band of tissue connecting your toes to your heel. If this band is overstretched or injured, it becomes sensitive and causes stabbing pain in your foot, especially your heel. The pain is worst when you first step out of bed, but it can interfere with daily activity and sports, too.
At Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, with locations in southern Georgia and in South Carolina, our team of expert podiatrists seeks to ease your plantar fasciitis pain — or prevent it from starting in the first place. Here, we help you understand the common factors that put you at risk so you can take action to prevent this chronic discomfort from interfering with your days.
Irregular foot and ankle anatomy
If you have high arches or flat feet (minimal or no arch), you’re at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. These irregular foot anatomies distribute your weight more across your toes and heels, putting the connective tissue of your heel at risk of strain and inflammation.
Poor ankle dorsiflexion — the movement that allows you to point your toes toward your shin — can also make you more vulnerable to developing plantar fasciitis. This action is necessary to walking, so when the movement is compromised, each step you take contributes to potential pain.
If you wear unsupportive shoes with these conditions, you’re even more likely to have plantar fasciitis develop. Consult with a specialist at Ankle & Foot Associates to have your arches and ankles evaluated. You can also check out the Vionics shoe store conveniently located in our Waycross, Jesup, and Valdosta offices. Our team can recommend optimal footwear from our shoe store, and provide customized inserts to protect your feet from developing plantar fasciitis pain.
If you’re overweight or obese, plantar fasciitis is more likely to develop. Research shows that those with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater are more than five times as likely to develop the connective tissue inflammation of plantar fasciitis.
Extra pressure from the pounds you carry increases the pressure on the tissues of your feet. At Ankle & Foot Associates, we can help you devise strategies to slim down with a healthy diet and exercise. We can also develop an exercise plan for you that doesn’t put too much pressure on your heel and make plantar fasciitis more likely.
Time on your feet
The amount of time you spend on your feet can contribute to plantar fasciitis. People who report spending the majority of their workday on their feet have a three-and-a-half times greater chance of developing plantar fasciitis than those who do not.
Even if your job doesn’t involve a lot of standing, if you run or do exercise that repeatedly stresses your heel regularly, you’re also vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. Consult with our podiatrists to learn strategies to make sure your passion for exercise doesn’t lead to heel inflammation. We can help you find the right shoes and inserts as well as recommend a schedule that keeps you going without adding too much intensity.
Other causes of plantar fasciitis
While plantar fasciitis is most often caused by the above factors, other practices and issues put you at risk. These include increasing age — which makes the plantar fascia less flexible and thins your heel’s fat pad — diabetes, and frequent, short bursts of physical activity.
If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis, our office can help. Ankle & Foot Associates provides laser therapy and other noninvasive treatments to ease your pain and get you back to normal function quickly. Call today for an appointment or request an appointment online with a caring professional at the location most convenient to you.