Throughout the day, you may not even be aware of the immense workload carried out by your feet. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that our feet are remarkably intricate, composed of various bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. With each step we take, these components work harmoniously to support our body weight and facilitate movement.
Experiencing pain and discomfort in your feet can significantly affect your overall well-being. Notably, one common indicator of foot issues is the presence of a sharp, stinging, or burning sensation on the underside of your foot and heel. If you are faced with such symptoms, it is crucial to seek prompt attention and necessary treatment to alleviate the discomfort and prevent further complications.
The pain stems from an issue with the plantar fascia, the ligament responsible for connecting the heel bone to the rest of the foot. Excessive stress or pressure on the ligament can lead to stretching, tearing, and inflammation.
In some people, walking can make the condition worse. When you walk, the body tends to favor your arch over your heel, placing additional strain on the damaged tissue.
However, in most cases, walking can be safe for those who have plantar fasciitis. Especially if you have supportive shoes that cushion your feet and prevent further injury.
Your doctor can recommend specific exercises to help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis. These include stretching, strengthening your calves and Achilles tendon, and icing the sore area of your feet several times a day to numb the pain and reduce swelling.
You can also get shoe inserts (also called insoles) that provide extra cushion and support for your feet. These can be purchased over the counter or made custom for you by a podiatrist.
But remember that shoe inserts are not a substitute for exercise. So be sure to still exercise regularly as part of your treatment plan.
During your physical exam, your health care provider will look at the tenderness on your sole and heel when you stand or walk. He or she will also check for any signs of a serious medical problem, such as a broken ankle.
In most cases, there is no need for X-rays or other tests to diagnose plantar fasciitis. Your doctor will only order an X-ray if he or she feels that another medical issue might be causing your heel pain.
He or she might also prescribe medications to numb the pain and relieve any swelling. Your doctor can also refer you to a physical therapist, who can teach you stretching and strengthening exercises that can ease your symptoms.
The best option is to start with light walking and gradually increase your activity level over time. It is important to be cautious when starting a new exercise program, so don’t try to go too far too fast or your symptoms might get worse.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it is a good idea to avoid running and other high-impact sports that can put excessive strain on your feet. Instead, opt for low-impact options such as elliptical machines or exercise bikes. Be sure to warm up before and cool down after your workout. Taking the time to stretch your feet and ankles can help you heal faster and prevent further injury.
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