What is plantar fasciitis? We can tell you this—it’s no fun! It’s also a lot more common than most people realize. Also known as runner’s heel, plantar fasciitis is characterized by sharp pain in the bottom of the heel. This pain is caused by the degeneration in the pad of fat under the heel bone. Every year, more than two million people in the U.S. receive treatment for plantar fasciitis, and the condition is said to affect about 1 in 10 people during their lifetime. Treatment includes ice, rest, strengthening exercises, and in rare cases, surgery. If untreated, the plantar fascia, which is the pad of muscle and fat protecting the heel bone, can rupture, leading to acute pain and swelling.
What causes this painful condition? While the feet are marvels of engineering designed to protect our bodies from impact and strain, natural wear and tear over time can cause plantar fasciitis to set in. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time, flat feet, impact sports like running, and obesity.
Another contributing factor to plantar fasciitis is inappropriate footwear. Unlike Okabashi footwear, most shoes are not designed specifically around foot health. Shoes with inadequate arch support, which allow feet to roll inward or cause the wearer to strain the Achilles tendon, can all contribute to plantar fasciitis. To prevent plantar fasciitis from slowing you down, invest in Okabashi foot-healthy shoes for your feet today.