Pain caused by plantar fasciitis is something that’s hard to forget — it’s as if you’re getting stabbed in the heel of your foot. There are several factors that can contribute to this condition. One thing you may not realize is how you walk could be contributing to your heel pain.
Poor foot biomechanics can cause plantar fasciitis. Minding your step and learning how to walk correctly can help your inflamed plantar fascia heal and prevent the condition from getting worse.
Factors That Can Influence Poor Biomechanics
Your foot structures can put you at risk of plantar fasciitis. Having high arches or flat feet are major risk factors for plantar fascia inflammation. If you have high arches, the weight of your body is concentrated on the forefoot and the heel. The increased pressure on the heel can irritate the plantar fascia. You are also prone to supination, wherein the foot rolls outward, which causes extra strain on the plantar fascia.
On the other hand, if you have flat feet, you lack the support of the arch, and it is very likely that you overpronate or roll your feet inward when you walk. This can also strain the plantar fascia.
You cannot change the structure of your feet, but you can use custom orthotics, which are designed for your feet, to reduce strain and bring your feet back into proper alignment. If you have plantar fasciitis, orthotics can also help relieve symptoms of the condition.
Correct Biomechanics When Walking
Even with custom orthotics, learning how to walk correctly is important. Walking in itself does not cause plantar fasciitis, but the way in which you walk certainly can.
Here are some tips to employ when you walk:
- Lean forward a little bit.
- As you take a step forward, keep the knee of the forward foot slightly bent.
- Strike the ground with your heel. Maintaining a rolling motion from the heel to the toes, placing about 50 to 70 percent of your weight on the heel and the rest on your forefoot.
- Then, push off with the toes.
- Bring the other leg forward and repeat the steps above.
- Avoid taking long strides.
A foot and ankle doctor can teach you proper foot biomechanics. Being guided through the motions by a professional can be a highly effective way of learning. Your podiatrist will also be able to identify and correct movement errors that contribute to heel pain and provide you with custom orthotics to ensure you have everything necessary to reduce or eliminate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Foot and Ankle Doctor in Cincinnati, OH
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, we provide comprehensive treatment for plantar fasciitis. Our experts will identify factors that are causing your heel pain, such as poor biomechanics, improper footwear, weak or tight muscles, and excessive weight. We make sure that you leave our clinic symptom-free, with a complete understanding of what caused your condition and what to do to avoid a recurrence.