Source: Oh my arthritis, May 2020
The weather is warm. The flowers are blooming. Your outdoor activities have increased. And, ouch, the bottom of your foot really hurts! That pain could be Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation and stress of the plantar fascia.(The ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your toes and heel bone.) Plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the most common causes of heel pain and for some reason PF and warm weather seem to go together. Is Plantar Fasciitis more common in the summer? Let’s take a look to learn about how warm weather can affect plantar fasciitis – the causes, symptoms and treatment.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis in the Summertime
Here are 2 ways summertime weather can affect plantar fasciitis symptoms:
Activity – Most people are more active in the summer – exercising, walking and running more- and that repetitive activity can put stress on your heels. When the tendons in your heels become weak and stressed, inflammation can occur causing plantar fasciitis symptoms to appear.
Shoes – People trade in their shoes and boots for flip-flops, sandals and going barefoot in the summertime. Going barefoot and these warm weather shoes provide much less support, which can put more strain on your muscles and tendons.
Other Contributing Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
If you are a runner or participate in activities with a lot of jumping, or you’re overweight, these factors can cause stress on the plantar fascia resulting in swelling, inflammation and even small tears in the fascia
A job or hobby that requires a considerable amount of standing can irritate the ligament
The incidence of plantar fasciitis increases in those over 40
The swelling and pain from arthritis in the toes can alter how you walk resulting in stress and pain on the bottom of the foot
High heels. A sad but true fact, those fashionable shoes can irritate that tendon on the bottom of your foot
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The pain is on the bottom of your foot, near your heel, or in the arch of the foot
You have a sharp, burning pain when you get out of bed in the morning and after you’ve been sitting for a while
The pain goes away after you’ve walked around
The pain is worse after, but not during, exercise
Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can cause long-term discomfort and pain.
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Daily stretching of the calf, Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
Icing (you can roll a frozen bottle of water under your foot)
Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Cortisone injections may also be used for severe or long term symptoms.
Compression sleeves can relieve pain by compressing and gently supporting the structure of your foot.
Although it’s difficult, try to be patient. Most people with plantar fasciitis recover but the process can be lengthy- between six and 10 months, just in time for the next bout of warm weather.