You love the outdoors and would rather be out in the wide open spaces getting some exercise than sitting at a desk in an office. Whether you’ve always been active in sports or you’ve discovered a sport you love at an older age, an active lifestyle is good for your body’s health and for relaxing the mind. Exercise helps one sleep, improves one’s appearance and reduces the risk of risk health issues in the future. By participating in a sport, however, one does increase one’s chances of getting injured.
Sprained ankles, broken and fractured bones, knocked-out teeth, concussions, and pain old bruises and scrapes are injuries you’ve most likely heard of before and have come to accept. There is another common and painful injury that is common among athletes who participate in sports that involve much jumping and running. It is called plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis
In short plantar fasciitis is the straining overuse of the plantar fascia tendon. This tendon is located on the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the front part of the foot. When this thick band of connective tissue gets irritated, extreme pain, similar to that of heel spurs can occur. Common symptoms include severe heel pain first thing in the morning, heel pain when getting up from sitting, standing for a long time, after exercising or stretching the foot and pain when the sides of the heel or arch of the foot are pressed.
Sports That Can Cause Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can occur after participating in a variety of sports. Activities that involve continuous running, sudden movements and jumping can cause the plantar fascia tendon to get overused. Common sports that increase one’s risk of injury include:
Track and field
Plantar fasciitis can also occur in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding as well as be the result of everyday habits and activities like standing or being on one’s feet all day at work.
This foot condition affects both male and female athletes as well as teen athletes and older, seasoned athletes.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Wearing properly fitting footwear and running on flat, level surfaces are the best ways to prevent the occurrence of this foot injury. Additionally, foot insoles that provide arch support are a good option for those who are on their feet a lot for work. If you’re an athlete, proper, adequate warming up and stretching before one’s activity will also help minimize one’s risk of injury.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by overuse and this can occur when an athlete, particularly long distance runners, try to run too much, too far or too fast without proper, gradual warmup or preparation. If you’re new to a sport like running, it is best to start off slow and gradually build up distance.
Strong calf muscles and the strengthening of other muscles in the foot and ankle can also lower one’s risk of injury.
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot issue that affects athletes participating in a variety of sports. Those who aren’t athletes can also get this painful foot condition by being on their feet all day and doing much standing. Long distance running, soccer and football have been sports notorious for causing plantar fasciitis among athletes. Many other sports can increase one’s risk of as a result of excessive running and jumping. Running on flat, even surfaces, wearing properly fitting shoes, wearing arch supporting insoles, stretching and starting off slowly and gradually building up speed and distance can help prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring.