Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that results when you stress or injure the band of tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heel. The pain is often worse after you've been resting for a prolonged period. When you get out of bed in the morning, you may be barely able to walk. Bu,t as you use your foot and the tissues loosen up, the pain tends to diminish. Plantar fasciitis can last for several months, so you need to learn how to cope with the pain and speed healing. Here are some things you can do.
Stretching exercises can help loosen your calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and fascia. Toe and calf stretches are easy to do at home, but your podiatrist may recommend you undergo physical therapy to learn therapeutic exercises designed to heal and strengthen your foot, so the problem doesn't return.
Doing toe stretches before you get out of bed in the morning may lessen early-morning foot pain. You might also need to limit other types of physical activities that stress your feet such as jogging, taking long walks, or playing basketball. Instead, you can choose low-impact sports such as swimming.
Wear A Splint Or Cast
Your podiatrist might recommend you wear a device that holds your fascia in a stretched position. One of these is a plantar fasciitis splint that you wear when sleeping at night. It's made from a soft material, so it doesn't disrupt your sleep. It's designed to keep your toes pulled up, so your arch is stretched. A boot cast can be worn during the day. This also keeps your fascia stretched, but it is stiff and durable, so you can walk outdoors with it. It isn't a permanent cast. You can remove it like a shoe when you want to take it off.
Buy New Shoes
Since worn out shoes can contribute to plantar fasciitis, you should buy a new pair to wear while you heal. Choose shoes that have a low heel and good support for your arch. You may even want to buy a shoe insert designed for treating plantar fasciitis. These usually have a heel cushion or strap that protects and supports your heel. Since it may take months to recover from plantar fasciitis, you may need to replace your shoes every few months if you wear the same pair every day and they get a lot of wear.
Try An Ice Massage
While you can often walk off the pain of plantar fasciitis once your foot loosens up, sometimes the pain lingers. Try massaging the bottom of your feet with ice when this happens. The ice helps reduce swelling, and may help relieve the burning pain caused by tears in the fascia.
These simple treatments, available at places like Foot And Ankle Medical Center, are usually enough to heal plantar fasciitis as long as you give your foot enough time to repair itself. There are more extreme treatments available, such as surgery, but that is usually saved for a last resort when your foot is unable to heal on its own naturally.