Pain is a common and unpleasant feeling that has the ability to disrupt an individual's normal activities of daily living. Pain can be felt in any part of the human body. It is important to note that while pain in itself is not bad, it signals that something is wrong somewhere in a person's body. Oftentimes, the unpleasant feeling won't go until you take the danger away.

Heel pain is a common complaint in orthopaedics that affects millions of people. The pain experienced around the heel and bottom of the feet sends a signal that something is wrong in that area. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that has been implicated in many cases of heel pain.

What Causes Heel Pain?

The arch of the human foot is supported by a thick band of connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the base of the foot. This connective tissue plays a vital role in our movements by serving as a shock absorber and helping us walk. As we go about our daily lives, we apply pressure on the connective tissue, which results in the wear and tear of the tissue. Excessive pressure over time can result in the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is called plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Heel pain is the major complaint of those with plantar fasciitis. The pain experienced can be dull or sharp. It is often perceived at the bottom of the heel and can sometimes be felt at the bottom midfoot area. Usually, plantar fasciitis affects a single foot; it can, however, in severe conditions, affect both feet. Heel pain which is a result of plantar fasciitis, increases gradually over a period of time. It can sometimes be experienced suddenly after jumping from a height or when you miss a step.

Plantar fasciitis is also known as first-step pain. It was given this name because the pain is at its peak when you get up in the morning or after a long period of inactivity. The intensity of the pain can sometimes reduce with the day's activities and can get worse after a long period of vigorous activity.

Plantar Fasciitis in Athletes

Plantar fasciitis is also responsible for heel pain after running. This explains why the condition is also known as runner's heel. The sharp pain felt around the heel and arch of the foot after a morning's run is caused by plantar fasciitis. While some athletes experience heel pain while running only once in their lifetime, some might have to deal with the pain regularly.

Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors in Athletes

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by repetitive motion and an increase in activities that put the arch of your foot under a lot of pressure. Starting a walking or running program or having to stand for a long period of time are good examples of such activities. Walking or exercising on a hard surface is another major cause of plantar fasciitis. Another factor responsible for plantar fasciitis is the shape of an individual's feet. Flat feet or high arched feet can cause plantar fasciitis.

A wrong choice of shoe can also cause plantar fasciitis. Imagine someone putting on the wrong pair of shoes for a long time and standing on a hard surface; that's very dangerous and would result in severe plantar fasciitis. Having a lot of body weight can also cause plantar fasciitis. About 70% of people with plantar fasciitis are obese.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention

A good thing about plantar fasciitis is that it's not the end of the world. You heard that right! Plantar fasciitis can be treated and what's even better is that it can be prevented. Let's take a look at some of the ways to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.

Calf Stretches

Stretching your calves is effective in the treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis. Stretching helps to loosen your muscles and also reduces heel pain. Once you start experiencing heel pain, that's your cue to take time off certain exercises such as running. You should rather focus on other exercises of low impacts, such as swimming, that won't worsen the heel pain.

It's vital that you stretch before you start out with your workouts and also take breaks during workouts to stretch so as to prevent heel pain. The presence of taut muscles in your calves can worsen heel pain. A great thing to love about calf stretches is that they are quite easy to carry out.


Acupressure is a great way to treat plantar fasciitis. The prefix 'Acu' means targeted. Acupressure helps to relieve heel pain through the application of pressure to targeted areas or hot spots of the arch and heel that are affected by plantar fasciitis. The applied pressure works amazingly; it helps numb the body's response to pain.

Standing on Champ de Fleurs acupressure mat is a quick and effective way of treating plantar fasciitis. It stimulates sensitive tissues in the arch of the foot. Standing on the acupressure mat helps to relieve pain by regulating blood flow to the foot and promoting relaxation. Asides from producing results very fast, the Champ de Fleurs acupressure mat is also very easy to use. This method of heel pain relief is a steal; you should definitely get your Champ de Fleurs acupressure mat and try it if you're battling heel pain.

Massaging with Tennis, Golf or Acupressure Ball

This method is a very convenient and effective way of temporarily relieving heel pain from plantar fasciitis. The size, shape and weight of the tennis/gold/acupressure ball make it a convenient and perfect tool for exercise. Massaging your feet with the acupressure ball has many benefits, including improving blood circulation and blood flow to the arch. It also helps to numb pain signals temporarily from nerves in the heel.

Applying Ice

I'm sure you have, at one point or the other heard that applying ice is effective in numbing pain and providing great relief from pain. Ice is also very effective in reducing inflammation; recall that plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Applying ice is, therefore, perfect for treating plantar fasciitis.

The ideal time for the application of ice when experiencing heel pain is between 10 to 20 minutes. Applying ice for less than ten minutes might only numb the pain and not reduce the inflammation. Applying for more than twenty minutes, on the other hand, can make the inflammation worse. It's also important not to apply ice directly to your skin to prevent frostbite.


Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is located at the arch of the foot. It results in heel pain which starts off gradually and increases in intensity over time. Plantar fasciitis is not permanent; it can be treated. The treatment options are very effective and can be carried out at the comfort of your home.

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