Plantar fasciitis is one of the commonest foot complaints in the UK, and occurs when the plantar fascia is injured and becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue which forms the floor of the foot arch, running from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. When the arches are inadequately supported, or during exercise when the muscles in the feet get fatigued, the plantar fascia is placed under greater strain which can result in injury, and even small tears forming in the plantar fascia.
The condition is most painful first thing in the morning, as after a period of rest the plantar fascia contracts and the initial stretching can lead to intense pain. The condition can take some time to heal, with plantar fasciitis exercises often used by physiotherapists and doctors to help stretch out the plantar fascia. Effective stretching can prevent painful episodes from occurring, and encourage the heeling process. One such beneficial exercise is walking barefoot in soft sand, as the foot is encouraged to move through a plantar fascia stretching roll, whilst the sand helps to support the foot. This method of walking is also simulated by FitFlop sandals, thanks to the innovative design of the Microwobbleboard™ midsole.
The Microwobbleboard™ was developed by Dr. David Cook and Darren James at London Southbank University, and consists of triple density EVA Foam rubber, which helps t activate muscles throughout the lower body. The design is such that it also increases the range of movement of the feet. FitFlop footwear helps to accentuate the rolling motion from heel to toe, providing proper support for the foot arches and excellent cushioning throughout the stride. The smooth rolling motion gives the plantar fascia a gentle stretch, similar to walking barefoot in soft sand. The high density foam in the heel also provides excellent cushioning, with the Microwobbleboard™ reducing the shocks from walking by up to 22% more than standard footwear, helping to ease heel pain resulting from plantar fasciitis.
Whilst the FitFlop was designed to get the muscles working, the shoes have been reported to be highly beneficial for sufferers of plantar fasciitis, helping to stretch out the plantar fascia gently when walking. Customers have found that the smooth rolling motion can prevent painful episodes, and even eliminate morning foot pain. The feet are well supported by the triple density midsole, and the roll from heel to toe is smooth for a gentle stretch. Plantar fasciitis can be persistent; however wearing FitFlop footwear on a daily basis ensures that the plantar fascia is properly exercised and stretched, preventing the pain from returning for many sufferers, even in cases of chronic plantar fasciitis. The Microwobbleboard™ may not have been created with foot pain sufferers in mind, but for anyone who sufferers from plantar fasciitis, the pain relieving properties of FitFlop footwear is far more important than getting the muscles activated for faster toning, with that just being an added extra.