Plantar Fasciitis: Causes and
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the wide network of thin tissue (fascia) under each foot.
They attach from the front of the heel bone to
the base of each toe. When the foot plants this plantar tendon helps to keep the arch of the foot from collapsing (over-pronating).
This cushions and absorbs shock that travels through the foot, leg, hip and the rest of the body.
Causes of inflammation
in the plantar fascia are produced by any motion that creates over stretching of the tissue. Hill running, up or down, stair
climbing, running /walking on your toes or a heel striking foot fall are common causes.
Other causes are stiff, worn-out shoes, carrying
too much weight, a very high or low foot arch, spending long hours on your feet and walking running on soft sand for long
There can be other links to the condition in the biomechanical chain such as poor hip strength. The causes mentioned
above can also be the result of tight and inflexible Achilles and calf muscles.
With the plantar fascia stretched beyond what
it is capable of, small tears develop throughout. With each hour of inactivity these fibers go through a healing process.
That is why it may be most painful when you first put your feet on the floor each morning.
If ignored long enough,
the tugging on the insertion at the heel will stimulate calcium to be deposited there, becoming consistently painful and will
wreck your training plans.
What you can do about it:
Run and walk with relaxed ankles and calfs.
Develop a mid-foot strike.
a run form with a slight forward lean from the ankles and striking the ground under the hips.
Other flexibility strategies:
Hold straight leg calf stretches for 60 –
90 seconds before and after runs.
bent-knee calf stretches: In a staggered stance, arms braced against a solid surface, pick up the forward foot, and then slowly
rotate entire torso, left and right, 10 times for each pose.
Toes Taps: Take the opportunity during the day, whether standing
or sitting, to do toe taps. Rhythmically lift the toes toward your knee. This will keep the ankles mobile and stretches the
Achilles and calfs.
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