What is Plantar Fasciitis & What to Do About It
I never had ANY issues with my feet until I was pregnant. Plantar Fasci.. Who? And it was right about that time that I began my journey of diving into the body. Not yoga poses. Not fancy exercises, but how the body moves and why it moves the way it does. How we are an adaptation of our environment over time and things don’t necessarily happen to us, they accumulate within us.
To be honest, you don’t catch plantar fasciitis like you do an airborne virus. Your body moves or doesn’t move, it adapts to the environment you put it in and it responds. When your muscles scream, cramp, tighten, clench, sag, freeze they are responding. The question is, are you listening?
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
But what IS plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis means the inflammation in the muscular band around the sole, which supports the arch. It is the main reason for pain at the bottom of the heel. And that plantar tendon is then connected to your achilles tendon, which then connects in with your calf muscles, to your hamstrings to then your sacrotuberous ligament and so on (that was a mouth full). My point…everything is connected. Our bodies are not separate parts, we are not parts, we are whole. And when we are in pain, like foot pain, we cannot just look at the area screaming. We must step back and look at the entire canvas and how that canvas moves or doesn’t move. If someone was to be holding a gun pointed at another who would be screaming, the shooter or the victim? The victim is the bottom of your foot, the persecutor is the cause of it.
In modern busy lives, one is always on his feet. Our heels are constantly under the pressure of our daily life hustles. This pressure ultimately damages or tears your foot ligaments resulting in pain and stiffness under the sole. And furthermore, the long bouts of sitting, tightening of the calves and hamstrings coupled with extreme fitness shortens and tightens those areas causing a pulling and aggravating pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
During the later months of pregnancy, women carry a lot of weight on their feet and are more at risk for Plantar Fasciitis.
Men and women between the age group of 40-70 years and majorly women among them are at higher risk for Plantar Fasciitis.
Obese individuals, due to high pressure on their heels and repetitive tensile overload from walking, standing, or squatting, are more prone to the inflammation of the muscle band around their heels.
Certain activities or exercises that include running, dancing on heels or ballet dancing, skating, aerobic dance, inadequate stretching, or walking long-distance without a proper pair of shoes, etc.
Pronation (walking in a way that your whole body weight tends to be on the inside of your foot) is one major cause of Plantar Fasciitis.
Long term sitting with minimal bouts of movement, stretching or activity.
People with structural foot abnormality (Foot Mechanics) like flat feet, protruded, or extended heel bone or high arches usually suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. Weak plantar flexor muscles and intrinsic muscles of the foot are the bio-mechanic causes of Plantar Fasciitis.
Certain occupations that involve excessive use of feet or dynamic jobs like teachers, factory workers, police, labor, etc. are at higher risks.
Heel spurs were implicated as one of the causes of Plantar Fasciitis. It was later clarified that this is a very weak association and may not necessarily be a cause of Plantar Fasciitis.
Stabbing pain and tenderness in the heel is the typical symptom of Plantar Fasciitis.
The pain can be triggered by a long period of standing.
The pain generally kicks off after exercise as the pain flares up due to increased irritation or inflammation but doesn’t show any symptoms during exercise.
The nature of pain may vary from person to person. It can be dull or sharp, burning or ache in the heel.
The pain is commonly worse in the morning. You will feel a wave of pain the moment you take your first step out of bed. Climbing stairs would be the last thing you want to do as it aggravates the pain to a higher extent.
Statistically, stretching is believed to give the best long-term results at home.
Calf and arch stretch
- Sit on the bed with straight legs.
- Take a folded towel (or a strap or belt)
- Hold the ends with both hands.
- Place the balls of your feet in the middle of the towel and pull back the towel/belt flexing the foot (place the towel over the ball of the foot).
- Hold this for 30 seconds with a rest interval of 30 seconds and repeat this 3 times. Or hold until tension passes.
Downward Facing Dog
- Start down on all fours.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your knees.
- Without walking your hands back, press up through your arms and shoulders.
- Exhale and draw your belly in and lift your hips high.
- Let your heels sink towards the ground and “walk the dog” by alternating lifting and lowering each heel and bending the opposite knee.
- If you are feeling tight, bend the knees (the goal is not to have straight legs, but to feel a stretch).
- NOTE: Try Half Downward Dog on the step of your truck. Does your truck step need an upgrade? In need of more grip? >Shop NOW<
Roll the arch on our Massage Roller Stick
- Keep a ball or our massage roller stick by your bedside.
- Roll your foot on the ball three times for 1 minute with 30 seconds of the rest interval.
- Do this exercise after waking up and before going to bed.
- NOTE: Your feet may feel tender due to wearing shoes too frequently and not stimulating the muscles in the feet often enough.
Before taking your first step out of bed, stretch and massage your feet manually with the help of your fingers.
- Formal physical therapy
- Night splints
- Custom orthotics
- Corticosteroid injections
- Platelet-rich plasma injections
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Topical Pain Relief Cream – STIFF Mother Trucker
Thank you to BUD & TONY’S TRUCK PARTS for being the sponsor of this blog.
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