Oh! My Aching Foot! Plantar Fasciitis - Pronated Foot/Ankle (Flat Foot Version)
Plantar fasciitis, pronated foot/ankle…… what does it all mean?
Usually it means pain across the arch of your foot that can be intense and gets worse with prolonged standing, (especially on concrete) , wearing worn out shoes or sandals, walking, hiking, impact sports and of course running.
The pronated foot/ankle is more commonly known as the flat foot. The flat foot is a more flexible structure than the high arched foot making it vulnerable to overstretching and strain with aging, mileage and impact activities.
As you step and bear weight on your flat foot you tend to strike on the inside of your heel. Your ankle rolls inward causing over rotation or excessive pronation of your foot, heel and ankle. This exaggerated pronation overstretches and eventually strains the dense connective tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of your foot, across the arch and on the inside of your heel. With repeated loading the fascia becomes inflamed and painful. Before you know it - Voila you have plantar fasciitis!
Your first line of defense to protect your flat feet from getting painful plantar fasciitis is the use of supportive shoes. When you buy shoes look for what’s known as the motion control type. This stable, walking, running or working shoe will support your feet and prevent the excessive pronation strain that is the cause of your problem. Your daily walkers and work shoes should be replaced at least once a year. Running shoes and hiking boots may need to be replaced more frequently depending on mileage. The easiest thing you can do to help your sore feet is to not wear worn out shoes.
Custom foot/ankle orthotics in combination with good supportive shoes can be a life saver. The orthotic is molded from your foot in a neutral ankle position and provides a semi-rigid support to prevent over pronation and eliminate strain to your plantar fascia. The combination of the right shoe and the right custom orthotic is vital in helping your recovery from or prevention of painful plantar fasciitis.
If the arch of your foot touches the ground while standing barefoot, you have pain on the bottom of your foot along the arch and heel, your feet get sore going barefoot or wearing flip/flops then try these exercises and activities.
1. Calf/achilles stretches
2. Foot flutters (emphasis on external rotation)
3. Point flexes/ankle circles
4. Proprioceptive/balance training
5. Dynamic dorsiflexion stretches
7. Use of supportive shoes/custom orthotics
8. Activity modification/cross training/swimming/cycling/elliptical trainer.
All of these recommended exercises and activities should be easy and pain free. If any exercise is painful please discontinue. As always with any new exercise or activity program consult with your physician or medical provider to get clearance that these activities are appropriate for your current health status.
Of course, there is nothing better you can do for your sore, aching feet than getting skilled hands on treatment like you’ll receive from the therapists at MCOPT. We will identify and treat painful pressure points in your foot, heel, ankle, achilles tendon and calf that are diagnostic sensors indicating the true source of your pain. Treating these painful pressure points will shut off the pain and restore your ability to weight bear and heal. Addressing the source of your problem rather than chasing your pain will result in long lasting positive outcomes. Skilled hands on treatment in combination with your specific home exercise program and the right shoes will get you back on your feet for many happy and healthy miles to come.
You can “Get Better and Stay Better”.