Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition, that causes pain in band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, that stretches across the entire bottom of your foot and is what connects your toes to your heel.
If damaged, it causes a sharp jolting pain usually felt first thing in the morning when you initially put weight on your foot. The pain often subsides as the foot limbers up a bit, however it may be felt through out the day after long moments of sitting or standing.
This condition is very often seen in athletes and runners in particular. The planta- fascia is like our bodies shock absorber, and holds the arch in our foot, however if repeated strain is placed on it small tears develop. This is the cause of the pain and inflammation.
Athletes are not the only ones at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, anyone is capable of developing this condition and there are several factors that can increase your risks.
Lets take a look at some things that can potentially lead to this painful condition;
Foot structure, if you have a high arch or the opposite a flat foot, this can be a cause.
Obesity, if you are over weight it puts you at a greater risk due to the extra stress out on the plantar fascia.
Body structure, if your body, particularity your hips are out of line, added strain will be placed on the Plantar Fascia.
Age, age also plays a role, it is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 40, yet is subsides after around age 65. Movement patterns, the way you walk or run can lead to extra stress the plantar-fascia.
Exercise, some types of exercise can put extra stain and be a cause of the inflammation, activities such as long distance running, and being on your toes during ballet dancing.
Many of the possible causes can be prevented, so this is where prevention comes in useful. However if you have already developed this condition the are some techniques to aid in the healing process, as well as alleviate some pain.
Taping is widely used as a means to lend extra support to the plantar fascia.
Taping should be done in a particular fashion, below is a description of the ways to properly tape a foot. Watch this video:Following the PF taping instructions will ensure the greatest benefits.
Plantar Fasciitis Taping
Taping a foot is rather simple, and can have great effect if done properly. Taping should be done in the morning or before exercise to keep the plantar fascia from being over strained.
Before you attempt to tape your foot be sure it is clean and dry so the tape will stick and hold. Wash foot with soap that does not contain any moisturizer, then towel dry and allow to air dry briefly.
Begin with a piece of tape that goes around the ball of the foot or the “metatarsal are”. Next piece of tape will go around the heel and then connect to the first piece on the ball of your foot.
This effect should create an X formation in the center of your foot, this pattern is responsible for support.
Do this pattern a minimum of three times to really get study support.
Last step is to apply a piece of tape horizontally across your foot and covering the X formation from the previous step.
Taping Technique #2
First use a long piece of tape that extends the outer edge of foot from the big toe knuckle to the pinkie toe knuckle, this will be your “anchor” tape.
Next tape across the middle of your foot touching the anchor tape on both sides.
Repeat step two covering half of the tape again touching both sides of the anchor tape. You should be creating a layer effect across your foot. Do this 3 to 4 times.
This can be used in conjunction with a heel cup or alone.
There are a few other plantar fasciitis taping techniques, so fell free to do some exploring on which works best for you.
The tape can be used trough out the day, however be advise the tape should not be worn all day and night as it is important to let your skin and foot breath properly. Apply new tape daily if necessary. It is a simple process and can be mastered and be applied in only a couple minutes.
Using tape will not completely heal the condition however it can offer great support to ease some pain as well as aiding in prevention from further injury.
Dr Steve Katz talks about this and other common foot problems on CNN, follow the link to read through the discussion on tips and proper exercise here;
Taping can be very effective if used in conjunction with other tools and methods targeting plantar fasciitis. Heel seats or wraps offer great support as well as preventing further injury. Compression sleeves, rockers, sock sleeves, arch bands can all aid in repairing and easing pain caused by PF.
Below is a link to a few products sold on Amazon specific to PF;
Amazon is also a good source for a variety of athletic tapes such as Johnson & Johnson Sports Tape
You can find tapes in a variety of colors here
You may also find some relief in rolling a tennis ball gently under your foot, this will give a massaging effect on the fibers of the plantar-fascia.
However using tape as a means of support is very beneficial. It not only lends support to the plantar fascia it also help you to feel more comfortable and prevent you from limping to compensate for the pain.
A compensating limp can often make the problem far worse or even create new problems.
Having plantar fasciitis can be a painful annoyance and keep you from doing the things you enjoy. To ensure the problem does not continue to return it is very important to find the root cause of the condition. It can often be related to structure.
Seeing a chiropractor can help you to understand possible causes and seek help to correct the cause. They often can adjust your spine or hips to relieve the extra pressure and stress that is put on your foot.
As always it is important to seek medical advice before trying to self diagnose.
Keep some tape on hand, and remember prevention goes a long way. And don’t forget to pick up right pair of plantar fasciitis shoes