Heel pain is a common problem that many factors can cause. The most common form of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is caused by inflammation and damage to the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes). This condition can be caused by overuse from running or exercise, standing for extended periods, tight calf muscles, or an inherited poor arch structure in the foot. Treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves a combination of rest, ice, and stretching exercises.
Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain – literally. At its worst, plantar fasciitis can feel like a hot poker stabbing you in the heel and can make standing or walking feel impossible. The pain is often worse in the morning after you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while because the plantar fascia has had a chance to tighten up overnight. The good news is that there are things you can do to ease the discomfort and get back on your feet.
If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, you know it can be a real challenge. While it’s always best to consult with a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment, there are some things you can do at home to help prevent the condition from getting worse. Here are a few tips:
What can help plantar fasciitis?
Wear a night splint – One of the most effective ways to keep your feet strong, flexible and healthy is to use a night splint. A simple and cost-effective device, a night splint will keep your foot firmly in place and protected from further damage.
Stretch – There are several stretches you can do to ease the pain of plantar fasciitis, many of which you will not need specific equipment. These exercises include things like seated towel scrunches, heel raises, seated plantar fascia stretches or wall facing calf stretches.
Rest – It is essential to allow our bodies time to heal correctly. This means that we may have to cut back on some activities, but it is for the best. We do not want to put too much strain on our body while it is healing, so it is important to find other exercises to do instead of running. Swimming and biking are great options that will help you stay active without putting unnecessary stress on your feet.
Ice and elevation (RICE Method) – If you’re looking for relief from inflammation and pain, consider using a cold therapy ice pack. You can easily make your own ice pack at home by filling a ziplock bag halfway with water and placing it in the freezer or you can simply freeze a water bottle. Once the water begins to crystallize, take it out of the freezer and wrap it in a thin towel. Or, you can purchase an ice pack that fits perfectly in the arch of your foot.
See a Podiatrist – Don’t suffer from foot pain any longer! Make an appointment with us, and we’ll find the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan tailored just for you.
What to avoid with plantar fasciitis
Don’t push through the pain – Most plantar fasciitis is caused by either an increase in activity or a change in the activity type. Though it may be tempting to try and tough it out or to self-medicate with over the counter drugs, it is best to discuss your symptoms with a podiatrist. You should also not force yourself back into exercising too soon as you could further damage your foot.
Don’t go barefoot – If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, it is best to avoid walking barefoot around the house. Wearing slippers or comfortable shoes with arch support can help prevent further damage to your feet, knees, hips, and back. Do yourself a favour and invest in some comfortable shoes today that provide adequate arch support!
Don’t ignore the pain – underestimating the importance of foot pain is a mistake. If you don’t seek treatment quickly, the pain will only worsen, and it will take longer to recover.
*This blog contains general information about medical conditions and is not advice. You must not rely upon the information in this blog as medical advice. Medical advice should always be sought from an appropriately qualified podiatrist such as ourselves.