Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick band of connective tissue along the bottom of the foot. This plantar fascia runs from the front of your heel to the base of your toes, and keeps the arch of the foot from flattening completely when you put weight on it, basically providing cushion and absorbing shock when you’re walking, running or standing. Plantar fasciitis is pretty common, affecting about 10% of the population. It’s quite painful and can often affect your way of life if you’re not careful. So here are a few tips you can use to help prevent plantar fasciitis flare-ups before they even start.
Stay active While you may think resting is what you need, that’s not necessarily true. Staying active can help your feet become strong making them more able to handle everyday wear and tear. If you work a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day, set an alarm to get up every hour to get up and walk around, or at the very least do some foot pumps while sitting (raising your toes up and back, then pointing them).
Relax When you’re walking, running, sitting or standing, make a conscious effort to keep your muscles relaxed. We often tense our muscles without even knowing it, especially if we’re wearing sandals or ill-fitting shoes that make us feel the need to constantly grip with our toes or feet in some way.
Lead with your upper body We often allow our legs to lead us when running or walking. To keep the pressure off of your heels, allow your upper body to lead, and your legs to follow. Keep your strides short and try to land with your feet directly under your body.
Stretch When your arches, calves, and Achilles tendons are tight, they put stress on the plantar fascia. Stretching can help keep those muscles and tendons loose and help prevent you from getting plantar fasciitis. With your leg extended out in front of you, bring your toes up and back toward your shin. This will help to stretch from the bottom of your toes, through that plantar fascia, and up the calf.
While some of these may take time to make into a habit, try your hardest to use them in your every day. You’ll thank us later.