Fixing plantar fasciitis
Have you ever had pain on the bottom of your feet when you took those first few steps in the morning? It seemed to go away after a few minutes but then you sat down to have your morning coffee, stood up, and it was back. But after a few steps seems to ease off. Do your feet ever throb at night when you get off of them? If this sounds like you this might be a common running injury called plantar fasciitis.
So, what is plantar fasciitis? More importantly, how do you fix it?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick back that runs from your heel across your foot. There are many things that causes this swelling. Most reasons structure around shoe wear, standing on floors without cushion or lack of stretching after being active or walking or standing.
Here are my five fixes for plantar fasciitis.
- Start stretching your calves (technically known as your gastroc and soleus muscles).
Gastroc Stretch: This is a simple stretch where you take a small stride step lean forward keeping your back heel on the ground. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Switch and do the other side. Do this stretch 3-4 times a day. Make sure you are gentle with your stretching.
Soleus Stretch: Take a small stride step forward. This time allow your back knee to bend slightly.
Lean forward and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Switch and do the other side. Do this
3-4 times her day. Make sure you are gentle with your stretching.
If you have pain with stretching you are stretching too hard. Just back off until you get a stretch without pain. If you have pain with even a slight stretch it is time to consult your trusted physical therapist or physician for advice.
- Ice massage. Freeze a water bottle. After you are done stretching and ready to sit down take your frozen water bottle and roll your feet around on it for 3-5 minutes. Ice can reduce inflammation in the area it is applied. If you have any sort of vascular condition that affects the circulation to your feet do not do this. For instance if you have diabetes icing is to be avoided. However a good tennis ball massage on the base of your foot without any cold can help in this case.
- Change your shoes. Most of the time this pesky condition creeps up as we wear our running shoes just a little too long. 300 miles is still a general rules for running shoes. Once you are over that it is time to look at a new pair. Also if are walking around without support in our shoes the condition can pop up. Yes, I am talking about those cute flip flops or sandals you have might be the cause of this problem. If you know you are going to be on your feet most of the day comfortable shoes are advised.
- Night Splint. You can now buy a night splint on Amazon for $18. That is awesome! These things use to be very expensive. Now they are affordable and should be in anyone’s closet who has ever had plantar fasciitis. How it works is that you wear it and it gives you a low load stretch to the calf muscles. This allows the calf muscles and the plantar to relax and stretch.
If you are consistent with these items over a two week period of time you should see reduction or elimination of your foot pain. If you continue to have issues this would be a great time to visit your trusted physical therapist or physician to help you further.