Struggling with foot problems can trigger many issues, beyond the pain and discomfort which you will feel. You are also going to suffer when it comes to moving around, working, or exercising if you have plantar fasciitis pain.
Since Life Advancer is about seeking improvements, we want to discuss plantar fasciitis, a foot condition which affects many around the world. It’s one that can be incredibly painful and debilitating for patients if they don’t do anything to address it. We take a closer look at this condition and what you can do if you suffer from it.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It describes the inflammation of thick tissue (plantar fascia) which connects your heel bone to your toes. This tissue runs across the bottom of the foot, making the making extreme pain possible. You may feel the pain in the heel and even across the base of the foot.
The stabbing pain usually occurs in the morning, when you take your first steps and decreases as you get up and move around. It may recur with long periods of standing and sitting.
This condition is most common in runners. Those who face weight issues or wear shoes with inadequate support have increased risk.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis Pain
The tissue at the base of the foot is a natural shock absorber. It may become inflamed as a result of an injury, tearing, stretching, or constant impact on it.
The exact cause of this condition isn’t known, but some people do have the propensity for it. These include the elderly, those with flat feet, and those who have excess weight.
The condition may develop in people who wear worn or thin-soled shoes. It may occur in people who have flat or arched feet, wear high heels, or have tight Achilles tendons.
To diagnose plantar fasciitis, the doctor usually tries to locate tender areas on the feet. Doing this enables them to establish the location of the pain. The doctor will send the patient for an X-ray or MRI scan to confirm their diagnosis.
There are treatment options for plantar fasciitis available, depending on the severity of the condition, and the most common of these is to change your footwear. Your medical professional will also prescribe you some pain killers, and in some cases offer some night splints which stretch your calf and the foot arch as you sleep.
In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a therapist. Intense physical therapy will help to stretch out the arch of the foot and reduce inflammation. In severe cases, patients receive steroid injections or shock therapy to encourage healing.
In some rare cases of this condition, patients can undergo operations during which the surgeon will detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone; this will happen after he or she has exhausted all other options.
If you are worried that you may have this condition, don’t wait for it to worsen. Speak with your doctor as soon as possible, and verify it. Furthermore, you can try these simple therapies from the comfort of home.
1. Calf stretch
Tight muscles in the calves and feet can worsen plantar fasciitis pain, and stretching can loosen them. This exercise extends the calf muscles and eases the pain at the base of the feet. Try the following stretch.
Press your hands against a wall. Then, straighten the knee of the leg that’s affected and bend the other knee in front. At the same time, keep both feet on the ground. You should feel a stretch in the calf and heel of the straightened leg. Hold this pose for roughly ten seconds. Repeat this exercise two or three times.
2. Roller stretch
Put a round object below the foot and roll it back and forth. Doing so can help to loosen the foot muscles. You can use a golf ball, rolling pin, or a customized foam roller available at sports stores.
Sit on a chair, keeping your back straight. Place the round object below the arch of the foot and roll it for two minutes.
3. Plantar Fascia stretch
This stretch relieves muscle tightness. Sit in a chair, crossing the affected heel over the other log. Use the opposing hand to hold the heel of the affected foot.
Place the other hand at the base of the foot. You should feel some tension in the plantar fascia muscle. You can use a towel to grasp and stretch the foot if you cannot hold it for any reason. Otherwise, hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise about three times.
4. Foot Flexing
Foot reflexology increases blood circulation to the brain and eases tension in your calves. It can help with Plantar Fasciitis pain. This foot reflexology exercise requires the use of an elastic stretch band, available at online or sports stores.
Be seated on the floor and keep your legs straight. Wrap the band around one foot and hold the ends with your hands. Point the toes away from the body and return to the beginning position. Repeat this ten times.
5. Towel curls
Stretch your calf and foot muscles by wrapping a facecloth or towel around the feet. Do this exercise before walking or performing any menial chores.
Sit on a chair and put both feet on the ground, with a small towel in front of them. Grab its center with your toes and curl them towards you. Relax your feet and repeat the exercise.
6. Marble pickups
Picking up a marble with the toes will flex and stretch the foot muscles.
Place 20 marbles on the floor and sit on a chair with your knees bent. Use your toes to pick up marbles will stretch your foot muscles and give them a thorough workout.
Other Simple Remedies
Besides exercise, you can reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis with a few simple remedies and recommendations.
1. Wear proper footwear.
Get shoes that fit well. Don’t wear flat shoes as they lack support. Spend some time looking for shoes that match your foot and biomechanics. For example, arch supports and orthotic insoles can help plantar fasciitis.
Also, try not to walk around the house barefoot. Doing so can cause stress at the bottom of the foot. Wear sneakers or tennis shoes as they don’t stretch or deform tissue.
2. Ice your feet.
Another way to reduce the aches that plantar fasciitis causes are to roll the affected foot over a chilled water bottle for a quarter of an hour. Use this treatment after strenuous activity.
3. Wear a splint.
You can limit the stabbing pain in your foot by wearing a night splint. It helps to stretch the plantar fascia and ease the pain.
Get a doctor’s help if the pain continues. He can determine if it is Plantar Fascia that causes the pain. Remember that other factors can cause pain in the feet.
In a nutshell, plantar fasciitis pain needn’t debilitate you. Try these suggestions, and you will find your feet feeling better quickly.