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22 March 2019

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue that stretches from your heel to the middle of your foot becomes inflamed. So what causes it and how can you treat it?

Plantar fasciitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. This is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toe. It supports the arch in your foot and is important in helping you walk. The major symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. Some people experience it as a dull pain while others may feel a sharp pain or a burning on the bottom of the foot.

What causes it?

There are a number of factors that can play a part:

If you are overweight you are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This is due to the increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments. Women who are pregnant may experience plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy.

If you are a long distance runner you may be more likely to develop plantar fascia problems. You are also at risk if you have a very active job such as a postman or a waiter.

If you have foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet, you are also at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

How to treat plantar fasciitis

Rest your foot as much as possible

Avoid running, excess walking or standing. Gentle walking is fine. Your doctor, podiatrist or physiotherapist should be able to prescribe exercises to help treat plantar fasciitis.

Choose sensible shoes

Shoes with cushioned heels and a good arch support are recommended. You should also avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces.

Products that may help

There are a number of products that may help with plantar fasciitis. Wearing a sleeve, such as the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve, will support your foot and help to relieve pain. It’s thin enough to wear under socks when you’re active and you can also wear it while you’re sleeping to help reduce morning heel pain.

FS6 Compression Foot Sleeves
FS6 Compression Foot Sleeves

Wearing a specialist insole may also help. Healix Care SoftShell™ Breathable Insoles provide a combination of cushioning and support. If you prefer something softer underfoot you could try a gel insole such as the NatraCure® Plantar Fasciitis Insole.

Pain relief

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen will often ease the pain. An ice pack held to the foot for 15 -20 minutes may also help. Alternatively, the NatraCure® Plantar Fasciitis Relief Sock uses cold gel packs to help relieve pain. The sock also has a strap that allows you to customise the amount of arch support and fascia relief that you need.

NatraCure® Plantar Fasciitis Relief Sock
NatraCure® Plantar Fasciitis Relief Sock