The "Plantar fascia" is a fibrous band running from the under surface of your heel to the ball of your foot. "Plantar fasciitis" is a painful inflammation of this tissue caused by chronic over stretching and mild tearing.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly associated with fallen arches of the foot. To understand how this happens, cup your hand to make a "C" shape. This represents a foot with a high arch. Imagine a band running from your fingertips to your wrist. This represents the plantar fascia. Now, straighten your fingers to simulate what happens when the arch "falls." When this happens in your foot, the plantar fascia is stretched and can begin to tear away from your heel.
Plantar fasciitis affects 10% of the population and is more common in women. Approximately one fourth of patients have the problem in both feet at the same time. People who place excessive stress on their feet by being overweight, standing for long periods, or participating in endurance sports are more likely to develop the condition as well. Shoes without adequate arch supports, including sandals or going barefoot, increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Wearing high-heeled shoes or boots may contribute to the problem.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel or arch when standing up after a period of inactivity, particularly first thing in the morning. When you are sleeping, the arch is in a relaxed or shortened state, and the plantar fascia is able to heal. When you stand up first thing in the morning, you stretch the fascia, once again tearing it away from its attachment on the heel. The condition may progress to the point that you experience pain throughout the day, even while resting. The pain often eases after you walk for a period of time, only to redevelop. You may notice some tenderness when you touch your heel, and you probably have tight calf and hamstring muscles as well.
Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating condition, often lasting 18 months or more if left untreated. Fortunately, you may recover more quickly with proper treatment. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that you are wearing shoes with good arch supports on a consistent basis. A period of rest may be necessary to help you recover. Runners may need to temporarily decrease mileage or switch to less stressful activities like swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine. A splint or "Strassburg sock" worn at night will help to keep your plantar fascia in a stretched position while it is healing.
Struggling with Plantar Fasciitis? Book an appointment with Brooke!
For some of us, the summertime means seeing our dry, rough & cracked heels.
Are you nodding your head yes? Then keep reading!
When our heels become dry and cracked its actually typically because of a previous callous that has formed to protect our feet from pressure or the elements.
The danger lies when the symptoms and cause of the dry, cracked areas go untreated and can lead to heel fissures (large cracks that extend into the skin). Our skin’s main responsibility is to protect us from bacteria entering, so when there is a fissure, it opens us up to bacteria and infection. Since our heels don’t have great blood supply, they don’t heal as quickly as other areas of our body.
But don’t worry, there are some things that can help.
The big one is prevention.
Do you wear open backed shoes, like sandals? Try to buy sandals or open-backs that don’t allow your heel to move and cause friction, increasing the risk of callous and fissure formation.
Develop a foot care routine.
Don’t remove completely, but buff down callouses with a heel file so they don’t become unmanageable.
You can also soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in warm water (cool water in the summer feels nice too). Just be cautious if you have any underlying conditions that may prevent you from soaking (ie. Peripheral neuropathy, fungal/bacterial infections). It is also not advised to soak your feet before reducing callouses with a file because of the risk of taking off too much when the skin becomes soft. Always exercise caution.
Apply a good, non-toxic moisturizer, just be sure you wipe out the excess lotion in between your toes. PS. We have an amazing, all-natural foot butter at the clinic made by our friends at Seafoam Lavender Co. and we would be happy to set one aside for you. ($16 + tax each)
If you see signs of inflammation or if the cracks are painful, come in for a visit with me as soon as you can. If you have signs of infection, seeing a Medical Doctor who can assess for need of antibiotics is more appropriate.
Unsure if Nursing Foot Care is right for you? Feel free to give us a call and we can help you decide.
Ps. Book in for Foot Care or Massage Therapy with Brooke before August 1, 2019 for a chance to win a gift basket full of foot care goodies that’ll have you #WalkingOnSunshine.
For educational purposes only, this does not replace an individual client appointment and is not medical advice.
Brooke is a Registered Nurse and Massage Therapist with a special interest in foot health. Brooke also holds a background in Children's Oncology Care as well as Pediatric Critical Care. Brooke has dedicated her career to giving back and volunteers regularly doing outreach foot care as well as mentoring new nurses and business owners.