07 Apr How To Manage Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is a bugger. Plain and simple. If you have it, you know what I’m talking about. Although not a serious medical condition in most cases, it can be very painful and hard to get rid of. I’d like to offer up some ways to manage plantar fasciitis if this bug decides to bite.
Your plantar fascia is a strong thick ligament on the bottom of your foot that serves as a supportive mechanism and transfers force through your foot as you walk. It is strong, but it isn’t very elastic, so when it’s over stretched for a long period of time, it can become inflamed and painful. It will typically start like a dull pain and gradually get worse over time, of course before it gets better. Pain is usually in the heel and inside of your foot and is at its worst towards the end of the day and those first couple steps you take in the morning.
There are a lot of reasons why people develop plantar fasciitis, whether it be overly flat feet, overly arched feet, running, tight calf muscles, your job, or from a simple trauma. But let’s take a look at ways to manage and help you get you through your day:
Support your foot:
Wearing a supportive walking/cross trainer shoe or a semi-rigid arch support orthotic can take some of the stress off your plantar fascia and help decrease pain. Also, Avoid barefoot walking and wearing sandals at all costs!
Inflammation is hot. Ice is cold. Using ice decreases inflammation and in most cases, will also decrease pain. Fill up a bottle of water, freeze it, and roll it under your foot for 5-10 min at the end of each day to help decrease the pain caused by inflammation
This is important. You need to be able to stretch your calf muscles and to improve range of motion in your ankle, which can take stress off the plantar fascia. Also, wearing a shoe to bed can help this as well. I know it sounds crazy, but it can prevent tightening of the plantar fascia as you sleep, so that means less pain in the morning!
Improve blood flow:
Take a tennis ball or rolling pin and set it by your bed at night. When you wake up in the morning roll either under your foot for a few minutes. This will improve blood flow and make it so those first few steps in the morning aren’t excruciating.
Decrease your activity, or the time on your feet. I realize some people can’t do this because of their jobs, but this is vital to your healing process.
Plantar fasciitis can and will heal even if you just follow these simple home remedies, However, it can take anywhere between 3 to 12 months depending on severity, so be patient and monitor your activity. If pain does persist and or worsens, obviously we would recommend coming into PT or seeing your physician to discuss further intervention. “
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-Garrett Testroet, PTA