Why might plantar fasciitis become so bad that you can’t walk?

Aug 30, 2023

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the heel and foot, causing pain and discomfort. While it is typically manageable with proper treatment and care, there are instances where it can become so that walking becomes difficult or even impossible. So, why does plantar fasciitis reach this point?

1. Delayed or Inadequate Treatment

One of the main reasons why plantar fasciitis can worsen to the point of hindering walking is the delay or inadequate treatment. Ignoring the initial symptoms or failing to seek professional help can allow the condition to progress and become more severe over time. It is crucial to address plantar fasciitis promptly to prevent further damage.

2. Overuse or Excessive Strain

Overuse or excessive strain on the foot can exacerbate plantar fasciitis. Activities that involve repetitive movements or prolonged standing can put excessive stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain. Ignoring the need for rest and continuing to engage in high-impact activities can worsen the condition and impede walking.

3. Poor Footwear Choices

The shoes we wear play a significant role in the development and progression of plantar fasciitis. Wearing unsupportive or ill-fitting shoes can strain the plantar fascia, causing it to become inflamed and painful. High heels, flip-flops, and worn-out shoes offer little to no arch support and can worsen the condition, making walking difficult.

4. Weight Gain

Excess weight puts additional pressure on the feet, including the plantar fascia. This added stress can worsen the inflammation and pain associated with plantar fasciitis. As the condition progresses, the pain can become severe enough to make walking unbearable.

5. Lack of Stretching and Exercise

Proper stretching and exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and prevent its progression. Failing to incorporate stretching exercises into your routine or neglecting to strengthen the muscles in your feet and calves can contribute to the worsening of the condition, making walking more challenging.

6. Underlying Foot Conditions

In some cases, plantar fasciitis can be exacerbated by underlying foot conditions such as flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles. These conditions can alter the mechanics of the foot, placing additional stress on the plantar fascia. If left untreated, these underlying conditions can contribute to the severity of plantar fasciitis and hinder walking.

7. Ignoring Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are crucial for allowing the plantar fascia to heal. Ignoring the need for rest and continuing to engage in activities that aggravate the condition can lead to further inflammation and pain. Without proper rest and recovery, plantar fasciitis can become so severe that walking becomes extremely difficult.

8. Genetics and Age

Genetics and age can also play a role in the severity of plantar fasciitis. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing the condition or may have weaker foot structures that are more prone to injury. Additionally, as we age, the tissues in our body, including the plantar fascia, may weaken, making us more susceptible to severe cases of plantar fasciitis.

Overall, plantar fasciitis can become so bad that walking becomes challenging due to a combination of factors such as delayed treatment, overuse, poor footwear choices, weight gain, lack of stretching and exercise, underlying foot conditions, ignoring rest and recovery, and genetic and age-related factors. It is essential to address plantar fasciitis promptly, seek appropriate treatment, and make lifestyle adjustments to prevent the condition from worsening and impacting daily activities like walking.