Plantar fasciitis commonly affects runners and can be stubborn to get rid of. Read on for tips and exercises to heal up and get back out on the road!
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a structure that runs from the heel of the foot out to each of the toes. The plantar fascia also has connections to the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel and to the calf muscle.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It can be extremely painful, debilitating and stubborn to treat.
Disclaimer: Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not YOUR physical therapist. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.
Plantar fasciitis commonly affects runners who have recently increased mileage or who have changed footwear–going to a new sneaker model or even just breaking in a new pair of the same model.
It can affect those who are beginning an exercise regimen. Doing too much too soon puts added strain on the plantar fascia and can result in injury.
General changes in footwear or wearing unsupportive shoes, like sandals, flip flops, ballet flats, high heels, clogs or any open backed shoe, can lead to heel and arch pain as well.
I typically see an uptick in patients with plantar fasciitis when the weather changes and summer footwear comes out.
People who have recently gained a notable amount of weight can also develop plantar fasciitis. Increased weight means increased strain and stretch on the fascia.
It is a common misconception that people with flat feet or hyperpronation are more apt to develop arch and heel pain. People with high arches are also susceptible because the plantar fascia is in a shortened position, which can lead to tightness and pain.
Get rid of foot pain: 5 things to do now
Stretch your foot: Cross your ankle over your opposite knee, pull the big toe back until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot.
In sitting, roll a tennis ball or golf ball under your foot for 5 minutes. Move the ball lengthwise up and down the foot as well as side to side and in circles.
You can stop on any tender spots and apply a tolerable amount of pressure for a trigger point release.
Put ice on your foot for 10 to 15 minutes to decrease pain and inflammation. Or, alternatively, roll you foot over a frozen water bottle.
Wear a night splint or a resting splint. This will keep your plantar fascia in optimal alignment for healing while you sleep. This should greatly reduce your pain when you first get out of bed.
Whether you have high arches or flat feet, orthotics can help support your plantar fascia. This will help improve not only your oain but your overall alignment.
These are sort of between your pharmacy Dr. Scholl’s and custom orthotics. They’re of good quality and will last you a while.
Remember, orthotics should be used in conjunction with good, supportive shoes. They do not take the place of good, supportive shoes!!
Once you are pain free, stay pain free by following these simple tips:
Be smart about your foot health. Take these steps to help prevent and treat plantar fasciitis. You now have the steps and the knowledge to treat your own foot pain. You can return to having a healthy, active and pain-free life.