Is chronic foot or heel pain affecting your quality of life? We know how hard it can be to struggle with constant, nagging heel and foot pain due to Plantar Fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot. There are many different ways in which it can develop and affect you; for example, it could be more painful in the morning hours or cause swelling in your feet.
What is the cause of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that develops in the heel of the foot.
It can be caused by repetitive stress to the plantar fascia, which connects your heel bone to your toes.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is wearing shoes with no support or worn-out insoles.
People who are on their feet a lot during the day can develop this condition. In some countries, this is also referred to as "policemen's foot".
Other causes of plantar fasciitis include obesity and high arches.
How long does it take for plantar fasciitis to heal?
Plantar Fasciitis can be a complex issue and it can therefore take time to heal. Recovery time can vary from six weeks to six months or more depending on a number of factors such as age, weight, flexibility, diet, area of activity and the nature of the injury.
10 Tips for managing plantar fasciitis
Based on research to get the best results quickly do the following:
1. We always recommend seeing a doctor first, who can examine you in person and provide the best possible advice.
2. Take an anti inflammatory medication if prescribed by your doctor.
3. Get good shoes that have adequate cushioning and provide you support in the arch area; Make sure that your current shoes are not old with worn heels.
4. Make sure that you wear these shoes & a plantar fasciitis foot compression socks like the BeVisible Sports Foot Sleeves first thing in the morning after you wake up (this is when your feet are at its most vulnerable from a Plantar Fasciitis perspective.
5. Rest your feet as much as possible. Avoid exercises/postures that require you to be on your toes or put weight on the ball of your feet.
6. You may have to pause activities like running, walking or standing on hard floors through out the day, dancing and certain gym work that put a lot of stress on your feet. You can (& should continue) with aerobic & strengthening exercise like cycling, swimming , rowing and other low foot impact exercise
7. Keep your feet in a slightly elevated position when you rest (putting it on top of a cushion or large pillow whilst lying down or sitting.
8. Try and stretch your feet and calf area gently at different times through out the whole day - Ice the affected area
9. If you have to walk or run, make sure you avoid hard surfaces like concrete as much as possible - Look at potentially using Orthotics (insoles & inserts) in your shoes to provide more comfort to the heel area.
10. And of course, make sure you wear the BeVisible Sports foot compression sleeve to relieve stress in the area Using the foot sleeves in this complimentary manner should help you with heel and foot pain in the fastest way.
If the pain persists, we always recommend seeing a doctor or qualified medical professional who can examine you in person & provide the best possible advice.
Exercises for plantar fasciitis
There are some simple exercise for plantar fasciitis that can often provide relief.
The key is to do these exercise right in the morning itself, once you have woken up and even before you have left the bed. This is because it is at this time when you are the most vulnerable from a Plantar Fasciitis perspective.
1. Toe Extension Stretch
In this exercise, you stretch the plantar fascia ligament. For doing this stretch, hold your toes in one hand & then gently arch them backwards towards yourself, as shown in the picture below. You should feel a stretch. Hold at this position for about 15 seconds and then release. Repeat it about 3 to 5 times.
You can also continue to do this exercise at different times through out the day.
2. Ankle Rotation
Increase the range of motion available in the ankle area by doing these ankle rotations. The more flexibility you have in this area, the less stress there will be on the plantar fascia ligament. In doing this exercise, stretch the leg as much as possible and then with the foot and particularly the toes make a clock-wise circle gently 3 times.
Then repeat the process this time circling anti-clock wise, thereby stretching the ankle area as show in the picture below.
3. Ice + Arch Massage
This is one of the most popular exercises, as many people have reported feeling relief with this. In this exercise you ice the affected area and also massage it at the same time. To do this get a plastic water bottle and fill it 3/4 th of it with water. Put this in the freezer. Once it is sufficiently cold (you don’t want it all completely frozen), take it out of the freezer and then gently roll your heel and arch area over it, as shown in the picture below. You can apply gentle pressure at all times (but not to the point where it hurts). This can give you good relief.
4. Tennis Ball Arch Massage
This is a variation of the previous ice + arch massage, except this is without the icing component. Also using the tennis ball allows you to exert slightly more pressure when you roll it over your arch and heel area. This is also a handy, simple exercise that you can undertake at different times during the day, whether you are at home or at the office. To do this exercise, make sure you are stable and then gently roll the ball using your feet. You can apply the desired pressure & rotate the ball, massaging the desired area. You can also use exercise lacrosse balls or even small massage rollers for doing this exercise.
5. Calf Stretch Exercise
This exercise is to stretch out your calf muscles, without having to stand on tip toes. We want to avoid putting pressure on the balls of the feet and standing up on our toes, as this puts a lot of pressure on the plantar fascia ligament. To do this exercise, it is best to be seated. Then extend the legs as much as possible and using a resistance band (or you can also use a belt or a towel) pull your foot towards you as shown in the picture. Hold for a while (20 – 25 seconds) and then relax. Repeat the set again another 4 times.
You can do this for each leg.
Need further help & support
Information provided in this article is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease.
Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
If you have any health or medical problems please consult with your doctor who can examine you in person & provide the best possible advice.