If you’ve ever dealt with a painful case of plantar fasciitis you’re not alone. Every year there are over 1 million cases of plantar fasciitis in the U.S. The condition stems from inflammation in the tissue of the heels. The one redeeming thing about plantar fasciitis is that can be treated at home and there are ways to prevent it from occurring.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
Effectively treating plantar fasciitis requires an understanding the heel anatomy and common causes for the painful inflammation. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the foot and into the heel bone. It supports the arch of your foot and absorbs shock with every step. When the tissue gets over-stressed tears can form in the tissue. Repetitive tearing causes tissue inflammation that generates painful stabbing sensations in the heel region.
You’re most likely to feel the stabbing pain of plantar fasciitis when you first start moving around in the morning. However, pain could also be worse soon after exercise and long periods of standing.
Those who are most prone to plantar fasciitis include:
- · Avid runners
- · People who are on their feet a lot within adequate shoe support
- · People who are overweight
- · Individuals between the ages of 40 and 60
If you fall into one of those categories know that there are ways to handle the pain of plantar fasciitis and avoid it altogether.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis at Home and the Doctor’s Office
Once the pain of plantar fasciitis begins you’ll need to take initiative to help the tissue fully recover. Most cases can be resolved at home on your own, however, severe cases may require medical treatment.
Compression Socks – Relieving pain with a foot sleeve for plantar fasciitis is an inexpensive, non-invasive way to ease discomfort and improve mobility. Compression foot sleeves help provide extra support and increase blood circulation making them ideal for post-workout periods.
Shoe Inserts – Another non-invasive option is shoe inserts, also known as orthotics. Poor arch support is one of the top causes of plantar fasciitis. The key is to get shoe inserts that fit precisely, which could mean having them specially made.
Massage Your Feet Often – Massage can also be beneficial in helping the plantar fascia heal. All you need is a golf ball to roll across the bottoms of your feet.
Night Splints – If your arch is playing a role in the problem, your doctor may recommend night splints. The devices are worn to bed so that the calf and arch muscles are gently stretched while you sleep.
Physical Therapy – A physical therapist can help you recover from plantar fasciitis by improving your gait so that weight is distributed in a way that eases stress on the plantar fascia. This is often the best solution if pronation is causing plantar fasciitis. The therapist can also show you how to stretch and exercise the lower leg muscles to avoid over-stimulating the heel region.
Steroid Injections – Steroids are commonly used to control plantar fascia inflammation if the problem persists for several months despite the efforts above. It’s minimally-invasive and should start providing relief within
Surgery – Extreme or chronic cases of plantar fasciitis may require surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. However, this invasive treatment option should only be used after the methods above have been attempted.
Preventing Another Bout With Plantar Fasciitis
Once the plantar fascia has recovered it’s important to use prevention methods to avoid a reoccurrence that’s more difficult to treat.
Drop the Excess Weight
If excess weight is causing constant plant fasciitis problems focus on eating a healthier diet and low-impact cardio. Water aerobics is one of the best weight-loss strategies because it provides a cardio workout without aggravating your plantar fascia.
Ease Up on Your Long Distance Runs
Runners put a lot of pressure on their heels. The experts at Runner’s World suggest that people who’ve experienced plantar fasciitis run on a softer surface. Wear proper shoes and talk with a physical therapist to examine your gait.
Stretch the Plantar Fascia Often
Keeping the plantar fascia muscle strong and limber can help decrease wear and tear that leads to inflammation.