Plantar fasciitis is a common heel problem characterized by a stabbing pain which is usually felt in the morning when doing the first steps. This condition is common to runners, hikers and to people whose works involve prolonged standing. Plantar fasciitis may also happen if you wear shoes that are not well-fitted or have inadequate support. It can happen at any age but it is more common to people of ages 40-60 years old.
When the plantar fascia ligaments in our foot are stretched irregularly, a tear or inflammation is likely to develop which then leads to pain felt around the heel’s surface. Ice therapy is a good first aid to alleviate inflammation and pain from plantar fasciitis. To do this, use a frozen water bottle. Roll the bottle back and forth under your foot. Do this 10 minute several times a day. Pain should significantly reduce a day after. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers. Rest and reduce activities that may have caused pain.
Stretching is essential for healing and to prevent re-occurrences
Treating a mild plantar fasciitis at home is actually all about stretches. With the right stretches, you can see improvement within days. Here’s a specific stretching program from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society:
- Cross your affected leg over your healthy leg.
- Using the hand on the affected side, take hold of your affected foot and pull your toes back towards shin. This creates tension in the arch of the plantar fascia.
- Check for the appropriate stretch position by gently rubbing the thumb of your unaffected side left to right over the arch of the affected foot. The plantar fascia should feel firm, like a guitar string.
- Hold the stretch for a count of 10. A set is 10 repetitions.
As pain is commonly felt in the morning due to tighten plantar fascia during sleep, it is essential to stretch and massage the affected area before getting up from bed. You can do a simple foot stretch by flexing the foot up and down 10 times before you get up. Stretch your toes or use a towel to stretch the bottom of your foot. You can also massage the bottom of your foot before standing.
An Achilles tendon stretch can also help provide relief. To do this, stand with the affected foot behind the other one. Point toes of the affected foot toward the heel in your front foot. Slowly, lean into a wall. Bend your front knee while keeping the back knee straight and held firmly standing on the floor. Count to ten and slowly release.
During your sleep, you may wear a night splint to hold your foot and ankle in position. This keeps the plantar fascia and Achilles tension slightly stretched.
Surgery for plantar fasciitis
Surgery for plantar fasciitis is not very common but one in 20 patients may need surgery, according to clinical surveys. A qualified practitioner may recommend surgery for pain that lasts more than a year. A certain severity or level of pain that affects activities may need surgery.
The right shoes are essential part for your recovery
Regular stretches and rest are helpful for this condition and so is wearing the right shoes. Proper fitting and adequate feet support prevents pain. You need shoes that have good heel cushioning. Orthotic can also help relieve the pain.
When looking for the right shoes for plantar fasciitis, find ones that have maximum arch support to keep your feet well-protected from strenuous routines. Your choice should also have good shock absorption against forces put on heel.
When you feel like the pain is alleviated, then you may begin short distant run. Stop from time to time to stretch. Gradually increase the distant and time of your run. This should help you recover faster.
Find relief from the symptoms of plantar fasciitis
pt Health Sturgeon Valley is an experienced St Albert team licensed to treat plantar fasciitis since 1992. With us, you will not just be treated but we will also educate you to avoid future re-occurrences of plantar fasciitis. Our physiotherapists will teach you the right stretching and strengthening exercises as well as provide support and motivation to completely eliminate plantar fasciitis. The leg and foot alignment are to be evaluated to see the root of the problem. A customized program is set so you can gradually return to activities safely.
Contact pt Health Sturgeon Valley today for a no obligation appointment and talk to a qualified clinician