Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by pain at sole of the foot, typically the bottom of the heel. The first few steps you take in the morning or after periods of rest are usually painful, and there will be tenderness if you press into your heel. Many people live with this condition far longer than neccessary! If your doctor has diagnosed plantar fasciitis, and ruled out other possible causes of your foot pain, consider the following tips to help get you back on track.
1. Massage Therapy on the calves and feet can reduce pain and trigger points and reduce the stress on the heel and plantar fascia.
2. Massage your own feet first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest to warm up the tissue, make it more pliable, and to avoid repeated tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia. You can use your hands, or try rolling your foot on a tennis ball.
3. Good footwear is extremely important. High heels, or shoes without proper support can put extra strain on the bottom of the foot. Get some good quality, supportive shoes and wear them as much as you can, even in your home. A certified Pedorthist may also recommend orthotics or other foot aids.
4. Stretch your calfs. To stretch the right calf, stand a little less than an arm’s length away from a wall. lean with your arms for balance and extend your right leg behind you, keeping the knee straight, and press your heel into the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the same stretch, but with your knee bent this time. Repeat on the left.
5. Ice your foot to reduce pain and inflammation. Use a frozen gel pack or roll your foot on a frozen water bottle.
6. Rest! If you know which activity is causing the problem, take a break from it for a while. Plantar fasciitis is caused by excessive pressure on the arch of the foot, so avoid running, standing for long periods of time, expecially on hard floors, stairs or hills, etc.