The average person takes about 4000-6000 steps per day (NHS UK). Add to this any running you may do, as well as standing for long periods of time and it’s not surprising that a lot of people have painful feet. Most people’s feet simply ache after a long day but there is a condition that is more chronic than this – Plantar Fasciitis.
This can be an acutely painful condition that affects the bottom of the foot, usually worse first thing in the morning after a night’s rest, when the foot has been immobile for several hours and then is used again.
The Plantar Fascia stretches from the Calcaneus (heel) to the metatarsals (ball of the foot) and is a common problem in men and women equally. Around 95% of heel pain is diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis and adults are more susceptible as they start to lose some of the elasticity from this connective tissue. Inflammation of the Plantar Fascia can cause a sharp pain and a bruised feeling in the heel or deep into the arch of the foot.
The causes of Plantar Fasciitis are varied but mainly are related to overuse or alignment issues. When the fibres of the Plantar Fascia are overused or stressed they will start to fray. These fibres start to knit together during the night when a person is resting and can “re-tear” each time a person goes into weight-bearing. Specifically, issues can be caused by
- Flat feet
- Lack of arch support in shoes
- Tightness in the calves
- Incorrect footwear
The best thing to do to relieve the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis is to release the feeling of tension in the bottom of the foot. Gentle massaging of the Plantar Fascia will help and loosening the muscles in the calf can take the strain off the Achilles which attaches to the heel and can pull on the Plantar Fascia. See our video for tips on how to massage the bottom of your feet.
Bearing in mind between 75% and 85% of adults have some form of foot problem (The College of Podiatry), it makes sense to get a foot rub next time you visit.