How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis
How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort in your foot as is usually one of the reasons of heel pain.
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Plantar fasciitis is known as the medical term for the inflammation that involves heavy band of tissue known as plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a connective tissue that goes across the foot and links your heal bone to the toes.
When you wake up and get out of bed, take a few steps and feel some pain you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis. When you continue walking, the pain usually reduces but it could return after standing for a long time or after you get up from sitting down. This has led to many people looking for ways on how to get rid of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis usually causes an intense pain in the bottom of your foot close to the heel. Normally the pain gets worse when you take a few steps after waking up but it can also occur after standing up for a long time or getting up from sitting down.
Plantar fasciitis is most times associated with runners as well as a rapid change in activity. Also people who are overweight are prone to having plantar fasciitis. On the other hand whether you are active or not you can still have this painful condition due to foot injuries in the past, muscles that are tight around the foot and poor arch support. In addition to this people who wear shoes without adequate support are at risk of getting plantar fasciitis.
CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Normally, your plantar fasciitis performs as a material that absorbs any shock and supports your foot arch. If the material is affected by too much tension that builds up, it can lead to the creation of slight tears within the fascia. Continuous tearing and stretching can make the fascia become inflamed or irritated.
Most times plantar fasciitis is not caused by a single factor, it could be caused by the following:
- Having a bad posture
- Having too much weight
- Being inactive
FACTORS THAT CAN PUT AN INDIVIDUAL AT RISK OF HAVING PLANTAR FASCIITIS
DOING VARIOUS TYPES OF EXERCISES
There are some activities and exercises that place too much stress on your heel and the connected tissue like running long distance, dancing aerobics and much more. All these exercise can lead to you having plantar fasciitis.
When you are overweight or have excess pounds to cope with, you place too much stress on your plantar fascia which can later on cause a lot of pain at the bottom of your feet.
PROFESSIONS AND CAREERS THAT MAKE YOU STAY ON YOUR FEET
There are various jobs that keep people staying on their feet for a long time and can lead to plantar fasciitis occurring. Jobs like teaching or working in factories can make people walk and stand for several hours on surfaces that are hard and can lead to their fascia getting damaged.
Age is another contributing factor of developing plantar fasciitis. It is mostly common in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
WAY YOU WALK AND TYPE OF FEET
If you are flat footed, have a high arch or have an unusual walking pattern you are likely to have plantar fasciitis as all these factors can adversely affect the manner in which weight is distributed when you stand and this can increase the amount of stress on the plantar fascia.
Complications could set in if you do not take plantar fasciitis seriously as this may lead to protracted heel pain which hampers you regular activities. In order to cushion the pain from plantar fasciitis you may want to change your walking style but be careful as this can also lead to you developing knee, foot, back and hip problems.
TREATMENT OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis you will need to see a medical practitioner who is a specialist in foot disorders or sports medicine. Before visiting the doctor you have to get prepared so that you will be able to answer any question asked by your doctor as well as give information concerning the symptoms you are having, your medical history, supplements and other medications you are using. You may also like to ask the doctor some questions.
Your doctor as well will have many questions to ask you, such as if you take part in sports and if you are a runner, is your job physically demanding, when do your symptoms occur during the day, what type of shoes do you normally wear, have you had any foot injuries in the past, apart from your feet do you feel pain anywhere else on your body, does anything seem to make your symptoms better or worse and much more.
During the visit, your doctor will conduct a physical exam and check for areas of tenderness in your foot. Where the pain is located can determine the problem.
Normally no tests are required as diagnosis is done based on the physical examination and history of patient. Once in a while some doctors may decide to order an X-ray or MRI to make sure the pain you feel is not caused by another problem like a pinched nerve or stress factor.
With the physical examination done, the doctor will now determine the course of treatment for you. Many individuals with plantar fasciitis get better with conventional treatment within a few months. There are several forms of treatment including the following:
1. USING MEDICATIONS
Several pain relievers are available that can relieve the pain linked to plantar fasciitis and give you relief. Have a talk with your doctor to choose the one that suits you and will not affect you negatively.
2. VARIOUS FORMS OF THERAPIES
Strengthening and stretching exercises as well as the use of expert gadgets can provide patients with some relief. They include the following:
3. DOING PHYSICAL THERAPY
You may be taught by a therapist how to do athletic tapping to be able to support the bottom of the foot. You can also be instructed by a therapist on how to perform various types of exercises to expand the plantar fascia along with the Achilles tendon as well as knowing how to strengthen your leg lower muscles which helps to steady the ankle and heal.
4. WEARING SPLINTS AT NIGHT
Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend you wear a splint at night before you go to bed so that the calf as well as the arch of your foot can be stretched when sleeping. This helps to keep in place the plantar fascia as well as the Achilles tendon in an extended position throughout the night and helps you to stretch well.
Your medical practitioner could decide that a good option for you will be to use cushions, heel cups or arch supports that are custom fitted and prescribe them for you as they help allocate pressure along the feet equally.
In situations where these conventional methods and treatments do not seem to work and give you some relief your doctor may decide to try out other options involving surgery or other procedures.
Not many people require surgery to remove the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It is usually an option when the pain is extreme and nothing else seems to work. There could be side effects such as the arch in your foot becoming weak.
7. USING STEROIDS
Injecting the tender area of your foot with particular steroid medicine can offer relief for some time. Taking several injections is not suggested because this can make the plantar fascia weak and could make it rupture and reduce the fat pad that covers the heel bone.
8. SHOCK WAVE THERAPY
In this method, treatment is focused at the part of heel pain to encourage healing. It is mostly used in situations of protracted plantar fasciitis which has failed to respond to more conventional treatments and methods. This type of procedure could cause pain, swelling, bruises, tingling or numbness but over time has been seen to be constantly effective.
9. HOME AND LIFESTYLE REMEDIES
There are some home and lifestyle remedies that you can try out to help you reduce the pain and get rid of plantar fasciitis. They include the following:
10. STRETCHING YOUR CALF IN BED
As stated earlier, you feel a lot pain after taking the first few steps in the morning when you wake up and get out of bed. In order not to make the situation worse it is good to stretch your calf before walking in the morning. When the muscles in your calf become tight, they tend to pull at your heel bone and leave your plantar fascia prone to injury.
You can do this by hanging a towel around the ball of your foot, keeping your legs straight and gently pull towards your body till you feel a stretch in your leg at the lower part. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat five times before getting out of bed.
11. STRETCHING YOUR PLANTAR FASCIA
What you do is pull your toes up with your hand till you are able to feel a stretch across the ball of your foot. The stretch can be felt anywhere between the ball of your foot to the heel. Maintain this position for 30 seconds and do it a couple of times to get relief.
12. STRETCHING YOUR CALF
Your lower leg has two major muscles that are attached to the heel so you will have to work on stretching them out. Standing against the wall place one leg back and push the heel down towards the floor till you feel a stretch in the lower part of leg and maintain this position for about 30 seconds. When you are done you can proceed to bend your knees till you feel another stretch a little bit lower in your leg and maintain this position for about 30 seconds. You can repeat this process three times for each leg.
13. GETTING A MASSAGE
You can pay someone to give you a massage and rub out the tissues in the bottom of your foot. If you are not able to afford someone giving you a massage you can get a less expensive option of using a tennis ball. Place a tennis ball under your foot on the ground and gently roll it for a few minutes as this can help make your plantar fascia loose. Apply pressure on the ball for a better massage, at a point you may feel sore and stop if you feel any pain.
14. GET AN ICE MASSAGE
This may not be the most comfortable option available but it can reduce inflammation and relief your pain while keeping the plantar fascia loose. Get an ice water bottle and roll it under your foot for about 10 minutes at the end of the day and it can prove to be effective. Another option is to wrap some ice in a piece of cloth and place it on the affected area for about 20 minutes three or four times daily or after you have done an activity.
15. WEAR SHOES THAT PROVIDE SUPPORT
Try to avoid wearing high heels, you need to purchase shoes with low or moderate heels that offer good arch support as well as shock absorber. Do not walk around barefoot especially on surfaces that are hard.
16. TRY OUT A NEW ACTIVITY OR SPORT
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis you may need to consider changing your exercise activities or the sport you are involved in. Try out sporting activities of low impact like swimming, bicycle riding, walking jogging and much more.
17. MAINTAIN A GOOD POSTURE
The whole weight of your body is carried by your feet. This weight goes through your feet and it cannot determine how it handles the impact as all it can do is try to absorb the pressure the best way it can and this can cause a lot of pain overtime.
While these remedies have shown overtime to be effective they are not a quick fix. It may take some weeks of being consistent for any improvement to occur. If after trying your best you do not notice any changes then you need to see your doctor to try other options we stated above like orthotics, developing a weight loss plan along with other alternatives.