The Beginner’s Guide to Plantar Fasciitis
Does the bottom of your Foot, Arch or Heel experience Stabbing Pain? Do you find it difficult to Run, Walk or Stand especially in the morning after resting? Do you avoid playing Sports to dodge further Pain? You may have Plantar Fasciitis. Experts Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis as a structural breakdown of a Foot’s Plantar Fascia (the connective tissue that supports the Arch of the Foot). The Plantar Fascia may experience tearing especially where it inserts on the Bottom of your Heel Bone.
How important is the Plantar Fascia? Whether you’re an athlete or not, the health of your Plantar Fascia is imperative for your overall comfort and pain-free mobility. Without a functioning Plantar Fascia, individuals experience Pain, Discomfort, and swelling.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, Heel Spurs often results from Plantar Fasciitis. Although this is the case with some individuals, several other factors can contribute to the breakdown of the Plantar Fascia tissue, including the following:
- Excessive Pronation (Feet roll inward when walking)
- Walking barefoot
- High arches
- Flat Feet
- Sudden weight gain
- Poorly fitting shoes
- Overexertion during exercise
- Tight or weak Foot muscles
- Excessive standing on hard surfaces
Although treatable, Plantar Fasciitis disrupts an individual’s everyday schedule and may get worse over time. If you experience pain on your Heel, Arch, or Midfoot, speed up the healing process with Orthotics, Exercises, Foods, and Other Treatments.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” – Hippocrates
Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, knew the healing power of proper nourishment. He encouraged individuals to consume the necessary nutrients in order to forego unnecessary pain. If you overexert yourself during exercise and develop Plantar Fasciitis, you can alleviate pain with the help of certain foods, including the following:
- Seafood (Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, and Herring)
- Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberries, Kiwi, and Blueberries)
- Leafy greens (Spinach, Kale, and Lettuce)
These foods reduce Inflammation in the body. Since an inflamed Plantar Fascia leads to Plantar Fasciitis, these foods may help with the healing process.
While overexertion often leads to the development of Plantar Fasciitis, inactivity is a common contributor as well. If you can’t find the middle ground between overexertion and not exercising enough, try these daily exercises:
- Plantar Fasciitis stretching – Keep your legs straight and loop a belt around your Toes. Hold the position for one minute and repeat as needed.
- Calf stretching – Sit in bed and stretch your Calf Muscles. Keep your Leg straight and wrap a belt around the ball of your Foot. Next, pull the belt towards your body and hold for one minute. Repeat as needed.
- Ankle and Foot stretching – Lay on your Back with your Feet extended in a 90° degree angle above you. Roll your Ankles clockwise and then counter clockwise to loosen the Muscles. Repeat as needed.
- Midfoot and Heel massage – Place a small ball (a tennis ball works best) or a frozen water bottle under your Foot and roll it back and forth. Apply as much pressure as is comfortable. Repeat as needed.
Other than a commitment to consistency, it doesn’t take much to keep things loose and help your inflamed Plantar Fascia heal.
Often, a patient with Plantar Fasciitis needs something special to relieve Pain and provide extra Stability, Control, and Support for the Heel. Many doctors recommend Custom-made Foot Orthotics (Insoles especially designed to the prescription of your Individual Feet) to reduce Strain and speed Healing.
Consult with an experienced Chiropodist before you purchase or use any sort of Orthotic device.
Most cases of Plantar Fasciitis will Heal completely. To expedite Healing of your Plantar Fasciitis most Podiatrists and Chiropodists recommend the following:
- Regular Heat and Ice
- Calf-strengthening exercises
- Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia stretching
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (ESWT)
- Anti-Inflammatory products to Foot and Heel
- Oral Anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen or Naproxen)
- Corticosteroid injections
- Weight loss
A combination of the treatments listed above will help relieve Pain and increase functionality for most patients.