If you are one of the millions of adults that suffer from plantar fasciitis, then you may be well familiar with its debilitating symptoms. Plantar fasciitis is hands down the top most common precipitating factor in visits to the orthopedic specialist’s office.
What is truly the cause of this condition? It comes down to pelvic alignment. Plantar fasciitis is ultimately a pain disorder that affects the foot, localized around the heel. While causes are not quite known, there’s evidence that adjusting one’s pelvic alignment is key to reducing the syndrome’s intensity, perhaps even curing it in certain cases.
The theory is that the intense pain so typical of plantar fasciitis arises when the foot experiences stress beyond what it can handle. One of the causes of overstressed lower limbs is excessive foot pronation. This in itself is known to result from a misaligned pelvis. Thus, pelvic issues are also implicated in plantar fasciitis.
The causes of pelvic misalignment are more well known. Core strength is what keeps your pelvis in line with the spine, enabling healthy hip placement and femur rotation. A lack of this core muscle, which is so vital for postural maintenance, means that over the time it will be harder and harder to keep one’s pelvis in the optimal location for pain-free mobility.
Sitting too much during the day can exacerbate this condition. It’s all too easy to slouch and lean back while stationary, allowing the postural muscles to atrophy and making it all too easy for the pelvis to roll into undesirable positions. There are unpreventable factors to consider as well, such as accidents, trauma and congenital factors like unsymmetrical leg lengths that make it much more difficult to control one’s posture.
Knowing the causes of plantar fasciitis is only half the battle. Truly decreasing the incidence of the syndrome takes a commitment to developing good postural habits and performing therapeutic exercises proven to ease symptoms.
Runners are known to be especially susceptible. It’s theorized that the reason is because many runners slip into poor form when fatigued, or may simply lack knowledge of correct form and why they should conform to it.
Therefore when running or jogging, it’s imperative to keep correct form. Keep your core muscles tight and hold your pelvis steady, avoiding excessive pronation even in the later miles of a run.
Shoe quality is another factor implicated in the development of foot pain. Many joggers go years before replacing a well-worn pair of sneakers. In fact, it’s recommended that a runner replaces one’s shoes at least every 12 months, even sooner if highly competitive or active.
The wearing down of a shoe’s sole has a surprisingly negative effect on posture, as the pelvis must adjust to accommodate it. Thus, replacing one’s shoes regularly is an easy way to halt the progression of malformed posture before it worsens.
There are exercises which do wonders as a treatment for plantar fasciitis. One of them is a simple stretch of the plantar fascia. This ligament connects the bone of your heel to your toes and serves as a supportive element for the foot’s arch. In order to stretch this tissue, simply place your foot on something round. A tennis ball is ideal. Using the bottom of your foot, roll this object around and around. Do this for a few minutes every day on both feet. The stretching will improve the health and strength of the ligament and its surrounding muscles, and in a week or so you’ll notice a marked decrease in pain.
Another exercise is to stretch the various muscles of the lower body termed as the hip flexors. These are muscles that rotate and position your pelvis in various ways. One stretch is to kneel down on one knee with your other leg supported by your foot in front. Stretch by pushing your pelvis forward in the direction of the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side of your body.
Performing these exercises daily serves as an excellent treatment of plantar fasciitis and should certainly decrease the amount of pain you may feel in the feet. In fact, it may even reduce it to almost undetectable levels.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, don’t delay in addressing it. If you follow the above tips, you can reduce the pain and improve your quality of life for the better.