Plantar fasciitis is foot damage that can cause mild to debilitating pain.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot injury that can range from mild to debilitating. Capturing and treating plantar fasciitis can reduce pain and shorten the duration of the healing process. By switching from a treadmill to a treadmill or working out on an elliptical trainer, you can reduce trauma to the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia is a connective tissue band that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the toes. When you move your foot through its normal range of motion while walking or running, the plantar fascia serves to stabilize the foot and facilitate your gait shifting phase. It does this by stretching when the ankle is in a dorsiflexor elevated position, arching the foot, and providing a winch mechanism for a more efficient push off the ground. Plantar fasciitis is an excessive injury characterized by painful inflammation resulting from damage to the fascia tissue. You may experience sharp heel pain or stabbing pain along the bottom of the foot.
Causes of plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can have various causes—high impact activities like running put a lot of stress on the plantar fascia. During physical activity, poor foot mechanics, worn or insufficiently supportive athletic shoes, long hours spent on your feet, or a combination of several factors can all contribute to the condition. The structure of your foot can also predispose you to plantar fasciitis. If you have a flat foot or extremely high arches, you may be more vulnerable. Women are more prone to plantar fasciitis than men, and obesity is a contributing factor.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis
If you are physically active, supportive athletic footwear is critical for injury prevention. Many athletic shoe stores have trained professionals who can help you select the best shoe based on your foot shape, arch type, activities, and walking patterns. A gait analysis performed by an experienced trainer can help you correct mechanical errors that can lead to plantar fasciitis. Treatments include elevating the feet, applying ice, reducing time spent standing, reducing running or mileage, and eliminating high-impact exercises.
Can Elliptical Cause Plantar Fasciitis?
The elliptical trainer offers a low-impact alternative to the treadmill that can reduce the risk of plantar fasciitis. Because your foot does not travel through its full functional range of motion when using the elliptical, the plantar fascia is not stretched to the extent that you feel when walking or running. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic notes that an elliptical trainer can be even easier on the knees, hips, and spine than running on a treadmill. To minimize stress, use good body mechanics by centering weight and maintaining an upright posture. Refrain from leaning on the handrails.
I have plantar fasciitis: stop the gym or diversify the exercises?
For about six months, I have been going to the gym where I mostly use cardio machines, particularly the runner (treadmill); after the first few months, I started to have some discomfort in my left foot only (especially the sole).
Despite this, I continued with my activity on the runner, also thanks to the desire to lose weight and get back in shape; actually, I did the wrong thing, since the discomfort has intensified, and now when I get out of bed in the morning I feel the classic burning of plantar fasciitis, which then vanishes after a few minutes that I am standing (classic symptom for this disorder).
Now the question is: do you think it is appropriate to suspend the gym, or can I continue to go there as long as I do not use the runner and other similar machines (that is, those that stimulate the heel and sole)?
Plantar fasciitis does not regress by itself. Rest is essential (doctors also recommend avoiding exercise bikes and any form of support on the orthotics).
Rest until it passes, visit a physiatrist who can recommend a treatment/series of stretching exercises), and when you recover, avoid running if you are overweight (statistically, 87% of those suffering from fasciitis are overweight).
Much better to use the elliptical. It is very effective, almost as effective as the treadmill, and does not strain your knees and joints like running.