Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and is especially common in runners. This injury occurs when the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. People use their feet in almost every daily activity, so an injury as simple and common as plantar fasciitis can have a significant impact on day-to-day life.
While plantar fasciitis is common and a relatively minor injury, it must be treated immediately to avoid further damage, like tearing of the ligament. Most causes of plantar fasciitis are unidentifiable, but there are specific risk factors that can increase a person’s chance of developing inflamed plantar fascia:
• Tight calf muscles: typically a result of a lack of flexibility. Increasing flexibility in the calf can combat and prevent plantar fasciitis as well as Achilles tendonitis and calf strains and sprains.
• A very high arch
• High levels of stress on the region: Usually caused by obesity, repetitive use, new and increased activity levels or anything that applies increased pressure to the feet resulting in an overuse injury.
Some techniques for alleviated pain and curing plantar fasciitis include rolling the bottom of the foot on a tennis ball or a frozen plastic water bottle and stretching the region. Stretching can be done by grabbing a bath towel, placing it on the balls of your feet and slowly pulling your toes toward your shins and elongating the plantar fascia. On the other end, calf stretches may also combat and prevent plantar fasciitis.