Keep plantar fasciitis at bay this coming winter

Did you know that foot pain tends to worsen in the winter months?

It’s a well-known fact that common foot-related conditions often begin to flare up when the days and nights get colder. Chilly weather and constant shivering can lead to aching joints, muscles and bones; it can also begin to shrink the tissues that connect your joints to your knees and hips, which causes them to pull on your nerve endings and cause sudden, unexpected pain.

Consistently wearing unsupportive shoes during the summer can also lead to aches and niggles when the seasons change. This is because providing your foot arches with little to no support for prolonged periods of time can lead to enhanced wear and tear to the ligaments that run along the bottom of your feet, which are otherwise known as the plantar fascia.

Both of these factors combined can lead to worsening cases of plantar fasciitis, a condition whereby the plantar fascia become damaged and inflamed. Pain in the heel and stiffness in the foot are both symptomatic of this particularly prevalent ailment, which can strike any one at any time of life but is more likely to affect those who are overweight, overly active, or between the ages of 40 and 60.

How to tackle plantar fasciitis in the winter

You may convince yourself that the condition will go away on its own, especially if you haven’t suffered from plantar fasciitis in the past. But taking action now will not only ease your pain – it will also prevent you from causing further damage to your foot and lower limbs, and ensure that wear and tear to your plantar fasciia has a minimal impact on your mobility in the longer term.

There are plenty of things you can do to prevent or manage plantar fasciitis in the winter. Physical therapy can help, as can wearing night splints. In more severe cases, doctors will recommend injecting steroid medication into the affected area to temporarily relieve the pain.

But the single most effective way to deal with plantar fasciitis is to invest in a sturdy pair of watertight shoes that offer good arch support. Doing so will take the pressure off the areas of your feet that are succumbing to excess shock and stress (and it will improve your posture and stability at the same time).

If cost is an issue, or you’re prefer to carry on wearing the shoes you already have, you could always invest in a pair of orthotic insoles instead. The best insoles for plantar fasciitis can be adjusted to deliver the level of support you need using a series of interchangeable metatarsal pads. Some people feel much better after inserting a thin-style pad into the arches of their feet, whereas others, and particularly those who have been suffering from plantar fasciitis for a long time, will benefit from wearing the firmest arch piece possible. Heel pads can be used in conjunction with orthotic insoles to take even more pressure away from the plantar fascia.

A little extra care can go a long way

As we mentioned before, it can be so tempting to ignore the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and just put the intermittent pain down to the changing seasons. But if the condition isn’t addressed, it could have a significant impact on your health in the longer term – especially if you find yourself walking differently to try and manage your discomfort, as this can lead to a whole host of other foot, knee, hip and back problems.

Take our advice: make an effort to manage your plantar fasciitis now, and your feet will thank you later!