You wake up in the morning and roll out of bed. You place your feet down on the floor and as you begin to walk you feel a stabbing pain in your heel. As you keep moving, the pain may begin to subside a little, but you still have an uncomfortable feeling in the heel of your foot and it may even get worse again if you find yourself on your feet for prolonged periods at a time throughout the day. What is this heel pain? It is most likely Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common complaints of pain in the heel. It is usually caused when the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to the toes on the underside of your foot – making up the arch) is inflamed. Inflammation is usually caused from an overuse injury, where small tears to the fascia from over stretching, and prolonged and frequent repetitive use of the arch of the foot. Most often anyone who does a lot of running, dancing, or jumping may experience this heel pain, as well as those who must stand on hard surfaces during most of their work day.
If you have heel pain, especially more noticeable when you first wake up or after you have been standing on hard surfaces for prolonged time, check with your doctor to get an official diagnosis to find out if it is Plantar Fasciitis. From there the doctor can recommend treatment which may include some over the counter pain medication, physical therapy, and in severe and chronic cases, surgery may be suggested. For the less severe cases, here are some simple self-care tips that you can do on your own to help relieve your pain from Plantar Fasciitis.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.