Plantar fasciitis is a common foot ailment—in fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 people will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives. Luckily, plantar fasciitis prevention can be achieved with just a little medical information and some minor changes to your routines like getting a pair of slipper for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that you can experience any number of times. You may have a minor case of it once, then have a flare-up several months later. This quick guide will explain what causes plantar fasciitis and how you can prevent it.
LEADING CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
To understand how to prevent plantar fasciitis, you must first understand what causes it. Plantar fasciitis pain can be caused by a host of different activities, and some people are naturally more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis than others.
The first noticeable sign of plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel or the arch of the foot. Often with initial signs of plantar fasciitis you will experience pain first thing in the morning. Pain tends to gradually decrease over the course of the day, only to be worse the following morning. Pain symptoms can become worse if there is a prolonged period of time bearing a lot of weight or remaining in a standing position. Additionally, it is likely that a tightening in the Achilles tendon will be felt by someone experiencing plantar fasciitis.
There are several potential leading causes for plantar fasciitis, including:
- Obesity: People who are overweight or obese tend to be at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis due to the increase in pressure on the foot. This is especially true if your weight gain was sudden.
- Physical activity: Recreational factors can play a role in increasing the risk of plantar fasciitis. If you’re a long-distance runner, for example, you are more likely to eventually develop plantar fascia problems.
- Occupation: People with jobs that require prolonged periods of standing and walking, like a waiter or factory worker, have higher instances of getting plantar fasciitis.
- Pregnancy: Studies have shown that plantar fasciitis is more prevalent in women and that pregnant women commonly develop it, especially during the third trimester.
- Foot structure: Structural foot problems like flat feet or very high arches can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis, as can a tight Achilles tendon.
People who suffer from plantar fasciitis will often ask can a chiropractor help with plantar fasciitis? The answer is yes! Chiropractors are trained to help calm the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and can recommend other tools for you to practice on a daily basis. You can ask your chiropractor for tips and they might recommend compression for plantar fasciitis.
HOW TO PREVENT PLANTAR FASCIITIS
When it comes to Plantar Fasciitis, the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings as true as ever. And luckily, by following a few key healthy habits, it’s possible to keep Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain at bay, allowing you to stay active and pain free. So what can you do to prevent Plantar Fasciitis? Take these 6 tips to heart!
#1 Maintain a healthy weight
Rapid or chronic weight gain is one of the biggest red flags for developing Plantar Fasciitis. Carrying extra weight puts a lot of strain on your heels, the ball of your foot, and your plantar fascia ligament (the area between your heel and the ball of your foot, also known as the arch), which puts strain on your arches and can lead to inflammation, pain, and ultimately plantar fasciitis. Eating right, and eating foods that are high in certain nutrients and have anti-inflammatory properties can also give you added protection against Plantar Fasciitis.
#2 Always do a warm-up before exercise
Nix the idea that a warm-up before exercising is “nice but not totally necessary.” Warming up and stretching your muscles prior to diving right in has a huge impact on how your muscles and tendons prepare for and respond to exercise. Tight or “cold” muscles aren’t able to stretch as easily, are more prone to injury, and are less able to perform and support other muscles and tendons–including the ones in your feet!
#3 Wear the right shoes
Wearing shoes that support your arch heel is one of the best things you can do as far as Plantar Fasciitis prevention goes. Shoes that are the right size, cushion your heel with a thick sole, and don’t allow your heel to wiggle around are crucial–and not just when you exercise. Don’t make the mistake of wearing heels that strain your arch during the day, and then switching to supportive shoes to exercise. Any shoes you wear–or don’t wear–throughout the day have an impact on the health of your feet. In addition to avoiding unsupportive heels and flip flops, try not to go barefoot.
#4 Empower your shoes
Many people have the mistaken idea that wearing orthotics is something only people with full-blown foot conditions should do–and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Slipping a pair of heel seats or inserts designed for high arches into your favorite pair of shoes is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent Plantar Fasciitis, and a great alternative to buying expensive orthotic shoes.
#5 Run on soft surfaces
You’ll keep Plantar Fasciitis at bay by making it a habit of running on soft, even surfaces whenever possible. Choose groomed paths in the park over sidewalks when it’s feasible, and run on turf in a track instead of the street when you can. Running on soft surfaces minimizes the impact your feet absorb as they hit the ground–meaning less inflammation and stress to your heel and fascia–and avoiding uneven surfaces means there’s less chance of landing wrong and twisting or straining a ligament or tendon.
#6 Keep active.
Last, but most definitely not least, find ways to stay active on a regular basis. Carving out 10 or 15 minutes of activity every day, or every other day, will keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet limber, better able to support you, and free of Plantar Fasciitis. Don’t think this has to be strenuous activity, or even that you have to put your gym clothes on. A walk around the block, 10 minutes spent stretching, or a friendly game of catch will keep you moving and limber!
Making these healthy habits a part of your regular fitness routine will not only help you prevent Plantar Fasciitis–it’ll help you stay active and enjoy life to the fullest by keeping you pain free. Your feet take you wherever you want to go; keeping them in good shape is one of the best things you can do to live a healthy, active life!
FOR PREVENTING PAIN AND PLANTAR FASCIITIS, CHOOSE GECKOMAN
Many people who want more support from their shoes worry that they’ll have to settle for bland and boring styles. With Geckoman, you can rest assured that style is never sacrificed for stability. The Geckoman Innovation Lab has found a way to put a premier aesthetic around scientifically researched foot support. Men and women can shop for casual sneakers, house slippers, flip flops, and more that all have top-tier plantar fasciitis protection.