Feet, we tend to take them for granted until something goes wrong!

Foot pain has got to be one of the most uncomfortable experiences, it stops you from getting on with just about everything from simple house hold chores to going for a run.

A common cause of pain in the sole of your foot is plantar fasciitis and is characterised by pain in the bottom of your foot particularly first thing in the morning when you first stand and weight bare or after sitting for periods of time again on first standing.

What causes the pain?

Plantar fasciitis is so named because it is the inflammation of a structure in the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toe bones. It acts a little bit like the string in a bow helping to maintain the tension in the arches of the foot. It can become irritated due to a variety of reasons but for runners often it is due to a sudden increase in mileage or poor or old foot wear. I have also known cases be caused by people walking barefoot on hard floors such as wood or tiles or even due to excessive wear of flip flops in the summer!

The pain is worse when you first go to stand on the foot because whilst the foot has been non weight bearing when you slept or sat at your desk for long hours the plantar fascia structure shortens. Thus when you go to stand up again the structure is then suddenly stretched out causing the pain.

What can I do to help myself?

There are many forms of treatment and advice out there for plantar fasciitis most will help to some degree but in order to find the most relevant to you it is important to understand why you are suffering in the first place, something an Osteopath is well placed to do.

Useful home treatments include such things as rolling a ball under your foot to help massage the structure. You can even go one step further and use a frozen plastic water bottle to roll under your foot, that way not only are you massaging the affected structure but also applying ice treatment at the same time.

Other things that may help is taping the foot, use of insoles or a change of footwear all things that should be discussed with a health professional such as an Osteopath.  It is worth bearing in mind that sometimes resolving plantar fasciitis pain can take a long time and trying many different types of support and treatment to fully resolve the issue.