Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common types of heel pains, and it occurs when you hurt the plantar fascia, which is a flat ligament connecting your heel bone to your toes. Overexertion, an incorrect posture while running or walking, or a misstep can cause the plantar fascia to stretch too much and become inflamed.
Aggravating Causes and Symptoms
If you continue to strain the already overtaxed ligament, small ruptures can occur and this is, in short, how plantar fasciitis sets in. The most common symptoms of this type of affliction are:
A sudden burst of pain in your foot when you stand up after sitting down for a long time, or early in the morning when you get up from bed;
Jolts of pain while you climb stairs;
Progressively increasing pain when you stand up for a long time;
Pain at the start of your warming-up routine which goes away as you start running, but returns after you stop exercising.
In general, the number one symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in your heel early in the morning as you take your first steps and at the end of physical exercising, but not during the actual running or cardio routine.
There is no universal cure for plantar fasciitis. Each case is evaluated individually by a doctor and various types of treatments. However, surgery is the last resort, and the doctor will only recommend it if 6 to 12 months of alternative treatments did not solve the problems.
Patients can also help themselves by following these simple routines at home:
1. Rest Your Foot
Allow your plantar fascia to heal by cutting back on the effort and giving it a good rest. Take a break from running or brisk walking for the next few days after you experience the type of pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Just like in the case of other types of muscle injuries, a good rest can do a lot of good.
2. Avoid Walking on Hard Surfaces
The granite or wooden floor in your home looks great, but does not feel so great for your injured foot. Buy some soft carpets and place them on the floors at least for a few weeks until your foot heals (you can keep them indeterminately if you like them, of course!).
3. Ice Your Foot
A pack of ice applied to your foot is both relaxing and healing. It numbs the pain and allows the inflammation to disappear little by little. Leave the ice pack there for 20-40 minutes and repeat every 4 hours.
4. Do Light Exercises
Toe stretches and towel stretches are extremely helpful. For the toe stretch, sit down on the floor, flex your knee and keep your leg up in the air with the back of the heel on the floor. Grab your toe with your hand and stretch it forward, toward the ankle. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and repeat 4 times throughout the entire day.
For the towel stretch, as you sit down on the floor, with the feet straight in front of you, place your foot in the sling of a rolled towel, and hold the ends in your hands. Pull the ends of the towel, bending your foot forward. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat 4 times.
5. Change Your Shoes
Last, but not least, replace your shoes (both for daily walking and your running shoes) with others with a cushioned sole and good arch support. Supplementary, you could wear orthotics in your regular shoes, until your plantar fasciitis heals.
Follow these simple tips, and you will feel a relief from the heel pain. At the same time, do not forget to be evaluated by a doctor and follow their recommendations.