Do you know where your plantar fascia is? Chances are you don’t unless you have injured it and developed plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia). According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons approximately two million people seek treatment for plantar fasciitis each year.
 

Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue running along the arch of your foot, from your toes to your heel. With prolonged abuse, small tears can develop in the tissue, followed by inflammation and chronic heel pain.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis occurs commonly in runners. High mileage and hard running surfaces can factor into the likelihood of developing the condition.  Also at risk are athletes who spend a lot of time on the balls of their feet, flexing their calves. Without regularly stretching the Achilles and calf muscles, this puts excessive tension on the plantar fascia. Repetitive jumping, obesity, and footwear lacking in support can also be contributing factors to the condition.

 

Treating Plantar Fasciitis:
  • Stay off your feet – take a break from running or jumping.
  • Ice – reduce swelling and irritation by regularly icing the area.
  • Fish oil – one of the great qualities of this supplement is the reduction of inflammation.
  • Stretching – stretch out your Achilles and calves to relieve tension on your feet
  • Massage – use a foam roller on your calves or a lacrosse ball to massage your feet.
  • Splint – wear a special boot at night to keep your foot flexed and prevent overnight tightening.
 
Also consider purchasing a new pair of shoes with adequate heel support. While barefoot running is all the rage these days, without excellent running form, you could be asking for trouble.
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