How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis
Have you been suffering from recurring plantar fasciitis inflammation and pain? I bet, at this point, you’ve started thinking that a costly surgery is the only thing that could possibly help. Put that thought out of your head, we can show you how to get rid of Plantar Fasciitis!
According to WebMD, only about 5% of plantar fasciitis cases require surgery - which is only considered as a last resort. The fact is, plantar fasciitis is very treatable on your own and at very minimal cost.
You just have to make a few simple changes, put in a little effort and your “persistent” plantar fasciitis could be gone – for good!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are looking to cure your plantar fasciitis, then I think it’s pretty safe to say you’ve already read quite a bit about it. So, let’s just do a quick overview here to ensure we cover all the bases.
Your plantar fascia is a tough sheath of connective tissue that runs along your sole from your heel to the underside of each toe. As the “itis" suggests, plantar fasciitis is when your plantar fascia becomes inflamed, swollen, painful and very uncomfortable.
The UK’s National Health Service advices that “sudden damage” and “wear and tear” are thought to be the root causes of plantar fasciitis. These may result from (among other things)
- repetitive motion
- shoes that are worn or are ill-fitting
- prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces
- faulty foot mechanics
The pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis tend to be worse first thing in the morning as you try to take those first steps out of bed.
So... How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis?
Stretches and exercises for plantar fascia focus on the areas that lead to the condition. As such, it is a good idea to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles and Achilles tendons while you work on the plantar fascia itself.
One exercise to try is the Calf Stretch, where you stand facing a wall with one foot slightly in front of the other. Brace your palms against the wall and dip into your front knee, keeping the back leg straight and your heels on the ground.
There is also the Step Stretch in which you stand at the edge of a step with your heels hanging off. Slowly bounce on the step by lowering and raising your heels. You are sure to feel this stretch in the back of your legs as your calf muscles get to work.
The Dent Neurologic Institute suggest a series of stretches you can do while still in bed to loosen up your plantar fascia before subjecting them to having to bear your weight. This is a great way to relieve the “first step pain” of plantar fasciitis.
You can give yourself a foot massage by using your fingers to kneed and loosen up your plantar fascia. Heelthatpain.com suggests that using your thumbs to massage the plantar fascia in a circular motion will give you much needed relief.
The site also recommends that you “Focus on the base of your heel where your plantar fascia ligament meets your heel bone.” Another area to work is the ball of the foot down to the underside of the heel bone.
Ice massages are also very good at easing plantar fasciitis. Try freezing a water bottle or a golf ball and using it to roll your arch. You can also roll the entire sole of your foot, stopping to give different sections individual attention.
The curve of your spine gives your body a natural forward tilt which helps to distribute your weight evenly over your feet. With poor posture, however, that distribution becomes uneven, causing undue stress and strain on your heels and plantar fascia.
Correcting your posture will take some conscious effort on your part. Throughout the day, try to remind yourself to keep your body in alignment all the way from your neck, shoulders, torso, hips and knees down to your ankles.
Your shoes or shoe inserts can help you in correcting your posture. There are insoles that are sold specifically to help with this and to alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Quite often, persons suffering from plantar fasciitis are warned by their healthcare provider to avoid going barefoot or wearing flip-flops. From the moment you step out of bed, you need to give your feet adequate support by wearing the right type of shoes.
Shoes that provide sufficient arch and heel support plus good shock absorbency are perfect for managing plantar fasciitis pain. If you are a runner or are involved in another sport then there are shoes readily available to provide you with plantar fasciitis relief.
When shoe shopping with plantar fasciitis look for shoes with
- a roomy toe box (inside front section of the shoe)
- a firm heel counter (inside heel section of the shoe)
- a rigid sole that only allows for bending right where your toes would naturally bend
- laces that you can tie them in different patterns to support to different sections of your foot
- Weight Management
If you stop to think about it, you will realise that the soles of your feet actually have to bear the entire weight of your body. The more weight they have to bear, then the more stress they will be under as you stand and move around.
Reducing excess weight can do your plantar fascia a world of good. Your weight management routine should NOT involve high impact exercises, however, as these cause added stress to the plantar fascia. Cycling and swimming are great alternatives.
What Kind of Professional Help Can You Get?
A physiotherapist, podiatrist, orthopaedist or trained massage therapist can offer you very real help and advice in the management of your plantar fasciitis. Apart from any procedure they may perform, you’ll get instructions on at-home treatment and exercises.
Dr. Donald DeFabio, a Chiropractic Orthopaedist uses a short, informative video to ably demonstrate a sample of two possible techniques used in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.