What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel and supports the arch of your foot. Excessive stretching or straining of the plantar fascia results in tiny tears in the tissue, causing the painful inflammation that's otherwise known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The most commonly reported symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp or stabbing pain in or near the heel, though it can also be felt in the arch of the foot. The pain is usually worse after exercise though not during activity.
People with plantar fasciitis experience pain that can be particularly bad first thing in the morning and after extended periods of foot immobility (such as sitting, lying, or even just standing). While it may seem counter-intuitive that these periods of rest would irritate plantar fasciitis, the pain is actually a result of the plantar fascia mildly re-tearing itself after beginning to heal in a shortened position that's common for standing, sitting, or lying down. This perpetual "re-injury" is part of why plantar fasciitis can take so long to fully heal.
Of course, the tendency of humans to be on their feet so often is another factor that lends to the nagging nature of plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, you don't have to resign yourself to months of bed rest to get relief from plantar fasciitis. Below we've outlined several meaningful changes to your footwear and habits that can yield immense relief. As always: Consult with your physician prior to embarking on any major health or fitness endeavors!