Our Poor Feet and Plantar Fasciitis

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Published: 07th May 2014
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Our feet go through an awful lot of wear and tear in the course of a day, but we all too often neglect this part of the body which connect us to the earth. We hardly ever consider our feet even as we give them a thorough pounding when we engage passionately in our favorite sports. We forget they do bear the entirety of our bodyweights when we stand motionless - and several times that during motion when we factor in mass, velocity and the laws of physics. Sadly, when we do finally think about them it is usually as an afterthought when they itch annoyingly, or as a painful reminder of their existence when they send us a signal that something is amiss and they hurt like the dickens. Only then do we sit up to take notice of them.

Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury among athletes, and generally those who stay on their feet for extended periods of time. It manifests itself most often as pain felt at the foot arch and heel. Most sufferers recover after some rest, but a significant number develop chronic conditions which lead to a loss of mobility. This is especially true for the overweight due to the additional stress placed on the plantar fascia. Some studies suggest an astounding 90 percent of individuals with heel pain are overweight. Therefore, weight management should be an integral component in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Apart from resting the feet, the typical ways (non-invasive) to treat PF include wearing orthotic inserts that provide arch support, stretching and low impact exercises are also very helpful. It is but common sense that remaining active in a responsible way is a better option than becoming completely sedentary when afflicted by PF. An inactive lifestyle contributes to obesity and appropriate exercises help one stay in shape while stimulating the healing process. Ignoring PF is not advisable as the condition will likely become more serious through neglect, and should acute pain ensue this can be debilitating with the sufferer retreating into deeper inactivity. Over time, this begins to undermine one's fitness and general health, potentially leading to other complications. And if a sufferer should adopt a strategy of grinning and bearing the pain, the body's natural instincts will kick-in and try to ease the pain by reducing the load at the feet and changing the way you walk; this will probably result in other foot, knee, hip or back problems as the body tries to adjust and redistribute the weight in ways not intended by nature. The best thing to do is to face PF squarely in the face, seek professional advice where necessary, maintain a reasonably active lifestyle and give your feet the care and respect they so sorely deserve!

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