The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot. When that becomes inflamed and irritated for whatever reason, it can lead to intense, stabbing pain that’s felt anywhere between the toes and heel, but it’s usually felt around the heel. This pain is an often recurring condition called Plantar Fasciitis. It affects primarily runners or overweight individuals, but it really can be an issue for just about anyone due to the naturally weak structure of the foot. Many times, it presents itself on the first morning step after getting out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time. PF pain generally improves once your body warms up, but it can be an excruciating experience until that occurs. Fortunately, there are common, non-surgical remedies for Plantar Fasciitis.
The pain of plantar fasciitis can range from moderate to making you want to walk over red-hot coals just to end all feeling. Ice and NSAIDs can help reduce the discomfort and promote heeling. Motrin or ibuprofen takes the edge off. But ice is essential for serious pain. Keep the foot elevated whenever possible. For exercising purposes, roll your sore foot on a frozen ice bottle for up to 15 minutes 4 times per day.
The first thing you should do if you experience foot pain is to limit vigorous physical activity. Instead, incorporate gentle, but effective, stretching to reinforce your foot muscles. Extending your leg out straight and using a towel or your hand to gently pull back the toes is a great exercise for PF. Prop your toes against a wall and hold for ten seconds. Repeat ten times. Or roll your plantar fascia across a golf ball or use the frozen water bottle trick for instant pain relief. Doing simple stretching exercises between bouts of PF help ensure future flair ups are either non-existent or easily controlled.
Support is essential for those who suffer from any type of foot conditions. Custom orthotic devices can be ordered through your doctor’s office. But if finances are an issue, excellent options can be ordered online or purchased right at your local box store as well. Some items can fit right inside your shoes to give you more support while healing from PF. Night splints can be ordered as well. These fit directly over your leg as you sleep and keep your foot immobilized so that the muscle doesn’t stretch in your sleep. If the condition is especially painful, a removable orthotic may be used for up to a few weeks in order to heel properly.
Wearing the wrong shoes is a prime cause of foot pain. Improper support leads to weakened tissue and misalignment. Solid, breathable footwear with a wide toe box, good arch support, and enough padding or structure based on your specific arch type and foot care needs is an essential investment. Such shoes can be ordered via your healthcare professional, or you can choose your own based on your arch shape, foot roll tendency, and fashion needs.
If all else fails, physical therapy can relieve the discomfort and encourage healing. A competent PT can walk you through the best exercises for your personal needs. He or she can also provide injection therapy via cortisone shots which may be one of many common remedies for Plantar Fasciitis to help you get back to your normal lifestyle without the aid of expensive and time consuming surgery.