Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition causing heel pain and in some cases also heel spurs.
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
It is the most common form of foot pain. It is usually a sharp stabbing pain felt on the underside of the heel and is often first noticed when getting up in the morning. It can then develop into a dull ache. The heel pain can also occur after long walks, standing, playing sports or running.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
‘Over-pronotation’ is the main cause, which simply means during walking the ankles are rolling inward further than is ideal. When we are walking our arches lower and with every step we take the plantar fascia (the band of fibrous tissue under the foot) is overstretched. This can cause inflammation, tearing and pain at the attachment of the fascia into the heel bone. Some cases result in pain being felt under the foot, in the arch area. If continuous pulling of the fascia takes place at the heel it may lead to the development of a bony growth known as a Heel Spur.
Age, weight gain, walking or standing for long periods or tight muscles and ligaments can all contribute to this ailment. Also, tight calf muscles and achilles tendons, weakness of the foot, poorly-fitting shoes, standing or sitting for long periods, walking, sports or arthritis. Shoes such as flats or heels cause increased pressure on the heel resulting in sharp pain. During sports activities or workouts in the gym, using incorrect footwear can also create tension or pain on the heel due to impact.
A podiatrist can determine what caused the pain and why. In cases of mild Plantar Fasciitis, simple stretching exercises, new shoes with arches, losing weight, putting ice on the heel, ibuprofen and massage may all help to relieve the pain.
How can reflexology help in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis?
Reflexology helps treat Plantar Fasciitis by loosening the ligaments and muscles in the foot and lower leg, by increasing circulation, and by improving flexibility. Clients who routinely receive reflexology sessions experience less pain in the foot, heel and lower leg and are able to maintain full flexibility during routine activities.