Why does my heel hurt?
So you wake up 1st thing in the morning, put your foot down and you get excruciating pain underneath your foot. You manage to walk it off but as soon as you sit down for more than 15 minutes the pain comes back when you stand up again.
If it does, then you probably have plantar fasciitis, and in common with millions of other Americans, you have had it for a few months and it is simply not getting better.
So what is it and what can be done to get rid of this heel pain / Plantar fasciitis?
The underlying cause of plantar fasciitis is tiny tears in the plantar fascia itself and unless you have a health condition such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, the main culprit will be overload of your feet. This might be from an increase in activity like a new exercises routine or new job or can be from a one off injury such as climbing ladders when decorating at home.
The problem comes when the body just can’t heal itself quickly enough due to the load on the feet such as walking, standing and running. Any other part of the body you could rest but the feet just don’t get this luxury - unless of course you stop moving around on them.
So what do you do?
Well it all about modifying the force going through the foot, orthotics, especially custom made ones,are ideal for this as they fit the exact shape of your feet and therefore spread the load much better.
The 2nd approach is to re-educate the muscles and ligaments of the feet to cope with the load without injury, simply put exercises designed to strengthen them are great - but it is essential that these exercises are done correctly otherwise the foot will just not get better.
Just a word of caution though, every case of plantar fasciitis is different and it can take from 3 - 12 months to fully recover so be patient.