If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, you might not think there’s much fun to be had when it comes from this painful condition.
We couldn’t agree more–but we still hope these interesting, surprising facts about Plantar Fasciitis make you smile, or at the very least give you a great addition to the conversation next time someone asks how your heels are feeling!
1. Problems with dorsiflexion
People with Plantar Fasciitis also typically have trouble with something known as dorsiflexion. That’s the movement in which the foot is brought toward the shin.
2. One in ten will struggle with plantar fasciitis
Just about 10% of the population will suffer from Plantar Fasciitis at some point during their lifetime. That’s a lot of people!
3. Orthotic inserts with Fascia Bar Technology are twice as effective as Dr. Scholls.
Not all orthotics are created equal! Fascia Bar technology is the difference between orthotic shoe inserts that specifically target plantar fasciitis, and inserts that simply provide cushioning – a clinical study even confirmed it!
4. Age is a factor in plantar fasciitis
The age group most likely to be struck by Plantar Fasciitis is those between 40-60 years of age. In part, that’s because the tissue in the foot starts losing elasticity as we age!
5. Weight can also be a factor in heel pain!
In fact, obesity is a factor in 70% of plantar fasciitis cases. In some cases, gaining weight quickly is a given, and even healthy (for example, pregnancy). However, according to a paper published by Dr. Rosenbaum in Medical Clinics of North America in other situations it’s important, if at all possible, to maintain a healthy weight in order to keep healthy feet.
6. Plantar fasciitis often heals without medical intervention
An incredible 90% of cases involving Plantar Fasciitis are self-limiting. Meaning, with 6 months of conservative treatment (including stretching, icing, and the use of orthotic inserts) the condition will greatly improve or be fully resolved!
7. In fact, stretching alone can improve or eliminate heel pain!
In a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, heel pain was either eliminated or much improved at eight weeks in 52% of patients who were treated with an exercise program to stretch the plantar fascia. Stretching to relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis doesn’t work immediately–but for many people it does work in the long-term. Incorporate stretching into your daily routine for best results.
8. Plantar fasciitis misdiagnosis is common
Plantar Fasciitis isn’t always the culprit when it comes to heel and foot pain. If your pain isn’t going away, or if insoles and stretching make it worse, you might not have plantar fasciitis. Ligament tears and plantar fibromas are two of the leading conditions that masquerade as plantar fasciitis, or if you’re experiencing a lot of foot pain during the night, you may have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
9. The plantar fascia ligament absorbs an astounding amount of force
It’s incredible to think about, but during an average day, the total impact your feet absorb is equal to the weight borne by a fully loaded cement truck! It’s no surprise that this strain can wreak havoc on the plantar fascia if your arch isn’t properly supported!
10. The feet contain a quarter of all the bones in your body!
Here’s a fun fact about plantar fasciitis: A full quarter of the bones in your body are located in your feet–52 to be exact! When those bones are out of alignment, havoc can ensue, and plantar fasciitis is likely!
11. Women are more likely to experience plantar fasciitis
Did you know that the average woman walks 3 miles more every day than the average man? That might be why women are four times as likely to experience foot problems than men–or it could be the fact that 9 out of 10 women regularly wear shoes that are too small! Time to ditch the stilettos and grab a pair of orthotics, ladies!
12. One in five has high arches – which contributes to plantar fasciitis
Just about 20 percent of the population in the United States has high arches–a leading contributor to Plantar Fasciitis if not properly supported!
13. Sometimes supportive shoes are all it takes to remedy plantar fasciitis
In one study, 14% of patients noticed an improvement in their plantar fasciitis symptoms simply by wearing more supportive footwear. Footwear is one of the most important aspects of supporting your heel and arch! Good footwear means better impact absorption, better cushioning, and less heel movement.
14. Heel Spurs are found in about 50% of plantar fasciitis cases
Contrary to common belief, heel spurs are caused by plantar fasciitis–not the other way around! Heel spurs develop in response to trauma of the plantar fascia, which can ultimately cause a great deal of pain when walking. Treating plantar fasciitis early is the key to avoiding heel spurs.
15. One in four has flat feet – also a factor in plantar fasciitis
On the other end of the spectrum, 60 million Americans (about 25% of the population in the United States) have flat feet–another major red flag for Plantar Fasciitis. Neither flat feet nor high arches absorb impact as well as balanced arches, and cause extra strain and trauma to the fascia.
16. Custom orthotics cost 10x as much Heel Seats or more
17. Custom orthotics are ineffective for plantar fasciitis pain anyway!
A breakthrough study found that after three months, custom orthoses only improved pain 11% as compared to placebo orthotics. Going custom can be incredibly expensive–and might not be worth the extra money!
18. Night splints improve plantar fasciitis pain for up to 80% of people
Several studies have shown that use of night splints results in improvement for 80% of patients. Additional studies find that night splints are especially helpful for individuals whose symptoms have been present for more than 12 months. Night splints are a terrific option for speeding healing, especially if you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you hoped. They can particularly help with morning pain, one of the hallmarks of plantar fasciitis.
19. Combining orthotics and night splints may provide even better results
In one study, the combination of foot orthosis and an adjustable dorsiflexion night splint resulted in a 47% decrease in pain. If just one solution for your plantar fasciitis pain isn’t working, try combining treatments with orthotics and a night splint.
20. Runners are more likely to have plantar fasciitis
You’ve probably heard about the connection between running and Plantar Fasciitis. Well, here’s why! The impact your feet absorb when you run can be as much as four times your bodyweight!
In fact, Plantar fasciitis has been reported to account for about 10% of all injuries that occur in connection with running. Wearing proper footwear, supporting your feet with orthotics, and resting as needed is key.
21. Sometimes all it takes is standing still to develop heel pain
Ever wondered why standing all day for work can feel so much more tiring than walking, even though you haven’t gone anywhere? It’s not all in your head! Standing in place is much more conducive to the development of plantar fasciitis, since strain is being placed on a few muscles over a long period of time, rather than spread over numerous muscles. Standing for long periods of time can put you on the fast-track to developing Plantar Fasciitis.
22. Plantar fasciitis information is underserved
Interestingly enough, there’s more websites out there dedicated to foot fetishes than to plantar fasciitis!
23. Professional athletes and celebrities have plantar fasciitis too
Celebrities’ feet are just as susceptible to Plantar Fasciitis as yours are! In some cases more so, when it comes to professional athletes, whose feet take quite the beating. A-list celebrities who have suffered from Plantar Fasciitis include Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Albert Pujols, Pau Gasol, Peyton Manning, Tim Duncan, and Shaquille O’Neal.
24. Plantar fasciitis is cause for one million doctor visits per year
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, the pain from plantar fasciitis drives a huge number of people to the doctor’s office annually. That’s no small matter! For many of these cases, symptoms could be resolved with at-home treatments like stretching, icing, and orthotic inserts.
25. Surgery IS the answer for a small number of people
Favorable outcomes were reported in more than 75% of patients who underwent surgery in one study. While surgery should be used as a last resort because of its expense, risks, and the down time involved, it’s a very effective last resort if needed!
26. The cost of plantar fasciitis surgery can reach $10,000 or more
Not only is surgery incredibly expensive, it also involves a lot of physical therapy and down time–and should be a last resort.
27. Plantar fasciitis is expensive!
The yearly cost to treat Plantar Fasciitis in the United States is estimated at $284 million dollars–a lot of it spent on unnecessary surgeries and medical interventions!
So now you know a few lesser-known facts about Plantar Fasciitis!
But remember, the most important thing you should know when it comes to dealing with foot pain is how to find relief. And as you learned above, 90% of cases can be treated without invasive, expensive–and painful–treatments.