So What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Simply put, this condition happens when the plantar fascia – the thick band of supportive tissue that runs along the bottom the foot – becomes irritated and inflamed. This is usually caused by intense and repetitive stress to the feet, which in turn causes painful tears to develop in the plantar fascia.
The pain of plantar fasciitis is most often felt when getting out of bed in the morning or after a long period of sitting, as the band has not been in motion for some time. After you have a chance to move a bit, the pain usually starts to subside.
This, however, does not mean you should dismiss it as “not a big deal.” In fact, plantar fasciitis will only get worse as you continue to put stress on your feet. So it’s important that you address the problem as soon as possible. Doing so will guarantee a much easier and faster recovery.
Even better: in many cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated at home with simple, conservative steps.
What Can You Do About It?
Here are a few things you can try when heel pain starts giving you grief:
- Wear appropriate shoes. Make sure they provide adequate arch support, heel cushioning, and wiggle room in the toebox.
- Always warm up before exercising.Take 5-10 minutes to warm up and prepare your body (and your feet).
- Ease into physical activities. Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your exercise routine. It may take several weeks to get your body in “game shape” if you’re starting a new sport or exercise program.
- Never push through the pain.If your feet hurt, stop what you’re doing and avoid high-impact activities until the pain goes away completely.
- Apply ice. This will help reduce swelling and manage pain.
- Take over-the-counter medication. Basic anti-inflammatory and pain medication can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of recovering from heel injuries like plantar fasciitis is giving your feet the opportunity to rest and heal.
Now, if you enjoy being active, the possibility of having to kick your feet up for a while may be out of the question. Fortunately, you don’t have to! Simply switching to some low-impact exercises can often help you stay healthy and active without putting excessive stress on your feet. Swimming, yoga, cycling, and water aerobics are all great options!
Of course, you should also come visit our office so we can examine your feet and determine if, in fact, plantar fasciitis is the culprit for your heel pain.