If you haven’t had Plantar Fasciitis then you are lucky. I still remember the day when I felt pain in my heel. It was when i first started running and I didn’t stretch properly or strength train. The pain for generally start underneath the ankle and heads towards the foot arch. Plantar Fasciitis is generally an overuse syndrome of the plantar fascia at the calcaneus due to the collagen being disarrayed.
It can be caused by a number of things including low arches/flat feet, high arches, activities that require maximal plantarflexion and dorsiflexion of the metatarsophalangeal joints (running) and even tightness of muscles including your calf, hamstring and glutes.
- Metatarsophalangeal joints are the joints between the metatarsal bones of the foot and the proximal phalanges of the toes .
- Dorsiflexion when you bring your toes closer to your feet
- Plantarflexion is the movement of the foot when your foot or toes flex downwards towards the sole of your foot.
To prevent Plantar Fasciitis I recommend stretching and rolling the following areas:
- Using a Lacrosse Ball/Golf Ball roll underneath your foot this will help loosen up the whole posterior fascial chain
- Stretch and roll your Calf muscles – both Gastrocnemius and Soleus
- Stretch your hamstrings
- Stretch your glutes and hips
Also it would not hurt to strengthen the arches by placing a towel on the ground and using your toes pull the towel towards you with your toes. Get properly fitted for new shoes and work on your foot flexibility.
If you do think you have Plantar Fasciitis please seek a medical profession for advice. I would recommend an athletic therapist if you have one in your area.
Image provided by Human Anatomy Atlas 2018