Plantar fasciitis affects approximately 10% of people, and more commonly women. 1 of 4 people with plantar fasciitis will have this in both feet at the same time. Risk factors include being overweight, standing and running for prolonged periods. Inappropriate footwear can also contribute to developing plantar fasciitis.
The classic sign for plantar fasciitis is heel pain in the first few steps first thing in the morning. Plantar fasciitis pain can last throughout the day, and may even cause pain at rest. Some people also experience muscle tension and pain in their Achilles tendons, calf and hamstring muscles.
The best way to explain why the pain occurs, is as follows:
When you are sleeping, the arch is in a relaxed and shortened state. This allows the plantar fascia to knit together. When you stand up first thing in the morning, you stretch the fascia and tear the newly knitted tissue away from the attachment on the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the more frustrating conditions to deal with. It often lasts 18 months or longer, if left untreated.
With the correct treatment you can recover much more quickly. One of the most important factors is to ensure you are wearing footwear with good support. Runners may also need to (temporarily) reduce their mileage. This will allow a period of rest to help their feet recover. A ‘Strassburg sock’ worn at night will also help. These recommendations coupled with an appropriate treatment plan will help you make a speedy recovery.