Have you ever wondered what is causing that annoying pain and tightness when you first get up in the morning or after you walk around all day? If you answered yes, you most likely have plantar fasciitis, which is a very common injury.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick ligament, which lies at the bottom of your foot. Typical plantar fasciitis pain radiates from the inside of your foot, close to your heel and can travel the length of your foot. Without proper stretching, shoes, or inactivity the plantar fascia can become inflamed fairly quickly and cause debilitating pain in your everyday activities if it is not addressed promptly.
Some of the potential risk factors for this condition are excessive running, low arches, high arches, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, prolonged standing or walking, and/or a tight Achilles tendon. If you can catch and address the beginning signs, you can help prevent this foot pain from restricting many activities in your life. Stretching your calf muscles and wearing good supportive shoes or orthotics designed for your feet will help decrease your chances of developing this condition.
If you already have plantar fasciitis here are some great tips to help decrease your foot pain and get you back to your life:
- Check your shoes- make sure your shoes are not worn out and have good support if you are standing and walking all day. A lack of support can place unwanted stress on the plantar fascia causing the irritation.
- Stretching- you can do this by dropping your heel off of a step until you feel a strong stretch or sitting in bed, wrap a towel around your forefoot and bring the towel towards you until you feel a stretch in your calf and foot. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 5 times. It is recommended to do these several times a day.
- Myofascial release- breaking up of the tissue of the plantar fascia. This method can be painful, but very beneficial. The easiest way to perform self-myofascial release is placing a golf ball in the freezer then rolling your foot on the golf ball for three minutes at least once a day.
Perform these home therapy exercises for about two weeks, if the pain has not changed or has gotten worse, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist near you who can provide further instruction, manual therapy, modalities and care that you cannot achieve on your own. Any Foothills Sports Medicine physical therapist can provide the best care for your irritating plantar fasciitis.