Whether for your job, your family, your exercise regime, or your hobbies, your active lifestyle doesn’t stop. When working hard and playing hard, nobody orders up a side dish of shooting pain with every step. You don’t want to slow down or be kept from achieving everything you set out to do, so you need solutions that work with you on the go to prevent and manage painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis and Why Does it Occur?
The term “plantar fasciitis” refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, the strong band of connective tissue that runs from the back of your heel to your toes. The plantar fascia supports the base structures of the foot and, as you might imagine, takes the brunt of sole-impacting activities like running or prolonged standing on hard surfaces.
Plantar fasciitis occurs because of inflammation and degradation of this important tissue. Causes can include repetitive stress from sporting activities, long-term strain from constant standing, poor support from shoes, and tissue changes brought on by menopause. Most people experience stabbing pain in the heel, or sometimes other areas of the foot, when putting weight on it or flexing upward. The unpleasant sensation is most common first thing in the morning or after exercise or activity.
The risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis vary. What triggers the disorder in one person may not adversely affect another, though experts estimate that one in ten people will develop it at some point in their lives. Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with time and care, although healing the injury can take anywhere from months to a year or more.
All bodies are unique, and not all cases conform to a standardized model. This makes managing your pain a highly individual process. You probably aren’t about to spend a whole year with your feet up, not taking part in activities you enjoy and important responsibilities in your life. You need better solutions.
How Can I Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
Like any repetitive stress injury, giving the affected tissues time to rest and heal is an important part of plantar fasciitis treatment. However, simply staying off your feet isn’t feasible or enjoyable for many people. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to facilitate healing and stop your everyday activities from exacerbating the condition.
First and foremost, appropriate support is essential for reducing heel pain. When the tissue is already inflamed or damaged, taking measures to cushion it from impact and offload strain is an effective way to prevent that stabbing sensation when you stand or walk.
Proper footwear supports the structures of your foot and helps correct abnormal foot mechanics that irritate and strain the tissues. Shoes with high heels, worn or uneven soles, or insufficient arch support will cause your weight not to distribute properly on the bones and tendons of your feet. In time, this causes irritation and injury. Take a look at the shoes you wear in your day-to-day life or exercise activities: Is the interior of the shoe collapsing? Do your feet have enough room to move without sliding around? Is the sole flat and stable, or are there worn patches that cause them to sit unevenly on the ground?
Plantar fasciitis heel cups add another layer of shock protection and stabilization to your shoes. These gently sloped inserts are designed to absorb the impact of walking or running before it transfers to your bones and tissues. Their shape also distributes weight away from your heel, giving the inflamed plantar fascia a chance to heal without being constantly re-injured.
Tips for Plantar Fasciitis Care at Home
Cold therapy like an ice pack or rolling your feet on a frozen water bottle can help sooth the pain and reduce inflammation. Gentle daily stretching exercises help keep the plantar fascia from tightening up, making putting your weight on it more comfortable and less likely to prolong the inflammation.
Experts recommend not walking barefoot around your house when you’re dealing with or trying to prevent plantar fasciitis. Bare feet have no support, causing strain to the fascia. Instead, use a comfortable pair of running shoes or sneakers for indoor wear to help support and protect your feet during daily activities.
A night splint that stabilizes the foot while you sleep may also promote healing to the damaged tissues by keeping your foot and ankle in the correct position.
How Can I Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
The old adage is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s especially true with repetitive strain injuries. Whether you’re concerned about developing plantar fasciitis or looking for ways to keep the pain from returning, there are a few important measures to consider.
Continuing to wear quality, supportive footwear is just as essential in preventing heel pain as it is in fixing it. Out and about or at home, make sure your shoes are in good condition and avoid shoes that lack support or distribute your weight unevenly.
Ensure that you have adequate impact cushioning. Good-quality shoes made for exercise such as running will absorb and disperse the shock from these high-impact activities. Inserts can provide additional support and shock protection in any style of shoe.
Heeldefender.com engineers plantar fasciitis heel cups with state-of-the-art materials to help prevent and manage a variety of painful conditions. We offer heel cups for women and heel cups for men in multiple sizes to ensure the right fit for your anatomy. Our proprietary materials and patented design offer superior impact reduction and weight transfer off the heel, transforming a painful walking experience into comfortable freedom of motion. Our heel cups come in a comfort style for everyday wear or a slimmer build that’s intentionally suited for sporting activities or dress shoes.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from putting your best foot forward. We build our high-quality, scientifically designed inserts to keep you moving. Contact us today to learn more about how heeldefender.com can help you manage or avoid painful foot injuries, or to buy Heel Defender inserts now.