If you’re a server, teacher, custodian or industrial worker, plantar fasciitis can be difficult to overcome. This painful condition can make walking painful and work unpleasant. If you’re worried you may have this condition or you’re struggling to find comfort while working with this foot pain, you may want to look into treatments and footwear options that will deliver comfort, as well as slip resistant safety, while you work at your job.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the name given to foot pain caused when the plantar fascia ligament becomes inflamed, weakened and swollen. The pain is primarily found on people’s heels, although it can be more prevalent through the bottom of the foot. Pain can be worst in the early morning then dull throughout the day. It gets worse with climbing stairs and following long periods of standing. Plantar fasciitis can develop in either one foot or both. As the Mayo Clinic explained, the plantar fascia is made to absorb impact when healthy. As you walk, this ligament works like a bowstring to protect your foot. But through repeated abuse and damage, it will stretch and tear, eventually becoming swollen and painful.
How is it caused?
Plantar fasciitis is typically caused by overuse. It’s found in people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet, especially those who are middle-aged. Runners and other athletes are also prone to develop this condition. So, if you spend your time off the clock jogging, be especially careful of this condition.
In addition to walking, there are other risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis. Inadequate footwear support, improper walking technique such as leaning inward, tense leg muscles, obesity, unusual arch design and professions that require long periods of standing are all risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis.
What should you do?
If you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis, contact your doctor for a thorough examination to rule out other issues. Most people require X-rays to ensure that the problem is with the ligament rather than a bone spur on the heel.
If you do have plantar fasciitis, doctors often recommend over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen as well as heel strengthening exercises, the National Institutes of Health explained. Some people also turn to ice to reduce the swelling, foot taping for extra support or a boot cast in more extreme situations. Many people wear night splints that stretch the calf and provide short-term relief as well.
What to look for in shoes for plantar fasciitis
In addition to these treatment options, one of the most common ways that doctors, orthopedists and podiatrists recommend to deal with this condition is to wear better shoes. Work shoes that offer arch support as well as impact cushion are critical for plantar fasciitis treatment and prevention.
If you’re working in a restaurant, school or industrial setting, you’ll want to find shoes that protect against heel pain as well as environmental dangers such as slips. Consider nonslip shoes that can reduce the likelihood of slips and falls and offer the cushion and support that plantar fasciitis requires. Look for options with thick soles and more cushioning than usual. Some doctors recommend orthotics or heel cushions that can fit in your slip-resistant footwear to add another layer of protection for the heel.
Consider shoes that have a rigid, noncollapsible back for ankle support, a firm sole and elevated heels to reduce pressure.
Plantar fasciitis can be a serious and painful condition that can make every step at your job a real chore. More comfortable, supportive and cushioned shoes can help reduce this pain and get you back to work.
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