You may have heard in the news that your favorite sports personality has been sidelined for the rest of the season due to an injury called plantar fasciitis. This condition may sound alien to you and assume that this occurs only to athletes. You may be correct in assuming that this disorder hits most athletes, but you are wrong if you think plantar fasciitis will not affect non-athletes like you.
While plantar fasciitis is among the five most common injuries in sports, the bulk of medical visits come from ordinary people. In fact, it estimated that over 10 million adults are affected with this condition and healthcare providers treat rough 1 million patients every year.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is recognized as the most common heel pain that is caused by the straining of the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes and provides support to the arch. A person may feel pain when this ligament gets swollen, weakened, or inflamed. Minute tears on the ligament may result due to repeated strains.
What are the Risk Factors?
People who are on their feet often, such as athletes and soldiers, are considered to be most at risked of acquiring this disorder. Those who engage in running and walking as a form of exercise may also be at risk of this disorder, particularly if these are done incorrectly or supporting muscle are not flexible of strong enough.
Studies have also shown that middle-aged people may have increased risk of getting this foot problem. This risk increase if you are overweight or may have gained a lot pounds in a short span of time. Other risk factors include wearing foot wear with inadequate cushioning, using the feet without warm-up, and having jobs that require standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
How Can I Prevent the Occurrence of This Condition?
Preventing the occurrence of this disorder is definitely worth your while rather than seeking treatment, which can take time and affect negatively your day to day activities. Here are some things you can follow to prevent plantar fasciitis or keep it from worsening:
- Maintain the ideal weight. This lessens the pressure on your feet. As a bonus, you will benefit greatly since being overweight has been established as a risk factor for numerous diseases.
- If you use your feet quite often for exercises or even at your work, it pays to invest on good footwear. Choose one that you are comfortable with and provides the necessary cushion.
- Before using your feet for any activities, it is best to do some exercises aimed at stretching affected parts particularly the Achilles tendon.
- As a suggestion to runners, you may want to alternate running with other exercises on certain days to give your feet some rest. You should also avoid changing the pace and manner of your running. Be wary of steep areas and surfaces that may cause so much impact on your feet.
If you feel the symptoms of plantar fasciitis despite these precautions, you may have to make drastic actions. It may be advisable to talk to your superiors if your assignment is exposing you to grave risks. In any case, it is important to address your symptoms immediately before it gets worse.