With famous athletes such as Eli Manning, Kobe Bryant, Albert Pujols and Olympic runner, Ryan Hall, all struggling with bouts of plantar fasciitis; there’s been a lot of discussion about this common foot problem in the media lately. But elite athletes aren’t the only ones dealing with this problem. In the U.S. alone, plantar fasciitis affects over 2 million people each year.
So, what is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is pain and inflammation of this connective tissue generally caused by overuse. Pain is usually localized near the front of the heel area and while it’s often painful during the day, the most intense pain is generally felt first thing in the morning, upon arising from bed and standing up.
The reason for the intense morning pain is that most people sleep with their toes pointed (plantar-flexed) which is the position in which your plantar fascia has the least tension. While you sleep, your body works on repairing the tissue you damaged during the previous day. When you stand up, you put your foot into dorsi-flexion which stretches the fascia and tears all the newly repaired tissue. This process of injury, healing and re-injury can lead to more severe problems later including bone spurs on the heel.
Plaguing Professional Athletes
Imagine having this stabbing pain in the bottoms of your feet from simply walking and then having to play at an elite level. From CSNChicgo.com, Chicago Bulls’ center/forward Joakim Noah sums up his take on this painful injury by saying,
“It really sucks. Plantar fasciitis sucks. It feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you’re playing. That’s what it feels like, so you can imagine. You need to jump, you need to run, you need to do a lot of things while you’re playing basketball, so you don’t want needles underneath your foot, right?”
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
To treat plantar fasciitis, you’ll want something that can support your arch during the day (orthotics or a brace) and something to hold your foot in dorsi-flexion at night so that your plantar fascia will heal in an elongated position (a night splint).
The TriLok Gives Comfortable Relief
Bio Skin’s TriLok is well-known as a premium ankle stability brace among athletic trainers, elite athletes and weekend warriors, but many foot and ankle specialists have come to appreciate its ability to treat plantar fasciitis as well, because unlike other ankle braces, the TriLok can be used to support the medial (inner) arch and plantar fascia. Unlike orthotics, the TriLok will support your foot even when you’re not wearing your shoes. Plus, the TriLok can be worn as a lightweight night splint.