You wake up, swing your legs out of bed, put your feet on the ground and OUCH!!
Approximately 2 million people in the United States suffer from the most common foot pain: plantar fasciitis or heel pain. The root cause of heel pain can stem from poor foot biomechanics, improper footwear, overuse, or even tight calf muscles. Experiencing sharp pain at the bottom of the heel in the morning or after sitting for prolonged periods is typically the identifying symptom. In fact, pain can often worsen after activity, but not necessarily during. Here’s why: The tissue shortens while we are not on our feet, and when we stand and apply forces onto to the foot, it stretches the fascia and pulls at the insertion point…the heel.
Although this unwelcome heel pain can be a pain in the arch, there are some ways to combat plantar fasciitis on your own. Many of the self treatment options can be seamlessly built into your daily routine, which will ultimately lead to a quicker recovery.
Here are 5 ways to treat Plantar Fasciitis from home:
Rolling Out The Plantar Fascia
This exercise promotes recovery by increasing circulation and flexibility. Using an R3 or another similarly sized object, such as a golf, tennis, or lacrosse ball, roll the the bottom of the foot. When you reach a tender spot, stop rolling, apply a small amount of pressure, and alternate between curling and releasing your toes. This will help to release knots and tension in the bottom of the foot
Give Your Foot The Support it Deserves!
With extreme pain, make sure that you wear shoes with a supportive medial arch at all times and avoid
going barefoot as much as possible, even when you are walking around the house. You might consider adding
removable insoles (i.e. Stabilites, Orange Insoles, Powersteps) to shoes you currently have that might not be
supportive enough. Shoes with rocker bottoms have been shown to significantly reduce plantar fasica stress and pain.
Remember that supportive options are only temporary remedies and stretching and strengthening are very important
for long term treatment and recovery.
Keep The Toes Movin’
To help increase intrinsic foot muscle strength and arch stability, this exercise is like a plank for your foot. Leaving the toes and heel on the ground, feel like you are pulling your arch up and back, towards your heel. You should still be able to see the
tops of your toes. Hold for five seconds. Repeat as many times as possible throughout the day. To progress difficulty, move to doing this while balancing on one foot.
Single Leg Balance
Balance on one foot for 30 seconds while barefoot. If this is too easy, close your eyes and tilt your head back! Advance to single leg squats by bending your knee, being sure it does not drift to the inside and the hips remain level.
There are two muscle groups in the calf to focus on: gastroc and soleus. For the gastroc stretch Stand with your right foot back. Keep your back knee straight and forward leg bent. Keeping your heel planted on the floor & toes facing straight ahead, lean forward from the ankles toward the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Soleus: Stand with your right foot back. Put a slight bend in your back knee and forward leg bent. Keeping your
back heel planted on the floor & toes facing straight ahead, lean forward from the ankles toward the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Sources: Better Braces