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Foot pain can be associated with injured tendons and ligaments, broken bones, strained muscles and injuries to nerves, and can also be a symptom of a systemic disease. One of the most common causes of foot pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes along the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of this tissue.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is repetitive stress. Athletes commonly experience this, especially those who participate in running and jumping. Repetitive stress can also occur in people who are on their feet all day. This stress causes tiny micro-tears in the tissue of the plantar fascia ligament which lead to inflammation and foot pain. With age, it may become harder for the body to endure the everyday stress of activities, so plantar fasciitis is common among the middle age and older population.
People with high arches in their feet are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.The high arch limits the range of motion of the foot and prevents the foot from evenly absorbing all of the force during activity. People with normal to lower arches may also experience plantar fasciitis, however this seems to more commonly result from overuse and weakness of the surrounding muscles rather than their actual foot structure. Additional arch support and cushioning in their footwear can help to prevent and treat plantar fascitiis.
Another cause of foot pain and plantar fasciitis can be footwear. Shoes without any support or that may stress the feet can lead to this condition. For example, flip-flops and very high heels are not recommended for someone who has foot pain. Wearing flip-flops alters a person’s gait and can be counterproductive to alleviating lower leg or foot pain, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. A comfortable, supportive shoe that has both cushioning and arch support works best.
High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are all common negative health consequences of being overweight. Another one, unfortunately, is plantar fasciitis and foot pain. According to Carlton G. Savory, M.D., of the Hughston Clinic in Columbus, Georgia, a force of approximately 1.5 times your body weight is exerted on your weight-bearing joints while walking. Losing even 2 to 3 lbs. can greatly decrease this force and the wear and tear on the structures of the body.