From going for a jog to walking up the stairs to playing with the kids, our feet are an essential part of our daily routine. That’s why foot pain can be so disruptive and debilitating. You may be wondering, is it normal for my feet to ache like this all the time? This article will focus on one of the most common causes of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, how to recognize it and what you can do about it!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a sturdy sheet-like structure that covers the bottom and arch of the foot, allowing us to walk more efficiently. Factors such as participating in repetitive sports like jogging, normal aging, improper alignment of the foot and obesity can place additional stress on the bottom of the foot. This leads to thickening and degeneration of the plantar fascia, causing pain in the bottom of the foot called plantar fasciitis.
Common Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
If you have plantar fasciitis you will most likely be feeling pain in the bottom of the foot when standing, walking or running. This pain can be felt in the bottom of the heel or the arch of the foot depending on the type of plantar fasciitis you have. The pain will most likely be at its worst during your first few steps in the morning, or when standing up after sitting for a long period. After the first few steps the pain may ease for a bit but return by the end of the day or as you do more activity on foot. You may find it painful to stand on your toes when reaching for something up high, or to go up and down stairs.
What Can you do About Plantar Fasciitis?
Some doctors may recommend corticosteroid (a type of steroid) injections into the foot to treat plantar fasciitis. While injections can be an effective therapy, physiotherapy has been shown to be just as effective at relieving plantar fasciitis symptoms in as little as 6 weeks without the need for painful injections. If you are experiencing disruptive foot pain, it is best to book an appointment with a registered physiotherapist near you.
Protip: For some immediate short-term pain relief try rolling the bottom of your foot on a frozen water bottle. The cold will help reduce inflammation while the rolling motion relaxes the muscles of the foot!
If caught and treated early and effectively you can see an improvement in symptoms within a relatively short period of time. If you think you might have plantar fasciitis it’s best to book an appointment with a qualified physical therapist to get a full assessment and treatment plan in place– no doctor referral needed!*
About the Author
Amanda is a 1st-year physiotherapy student at McMaster University. When she’s not busy interning here at pt Health, Amanda enjoys rock-climbing and hiking Hamilton’s many trails.
*A doctor referral may be required to access your third party insurance