Hello, Darlings! Today we are talking about Tips To Ease Pain And Heal From Plantar Fasciitis. The first time it happened, the cause was poor shoe selection when I was traveling to Italy. Days of constant walking on flat sandals caused plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot.
It took over a year for it to heal properly. During that time I was in constant pain, especially first thing in the morning. This time it was my own fault, I knew better. Wearing worn-out shoes and going on long walks have led to another case of plantar fasciitis. I hope to heal quicker with the lessons I learned the first time.
Tips To Ease Pain And Heal From Plantar Fasciitis
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis typically starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone often referred to as a stone bruise. You’re more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain usually occurs right after getting up in the morning and after a period of sitting.
Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
You’re more likely to develop the condition if you’re female, overweight, or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You’re also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Most Plantar Fasciitis is caused by
- Poor shoe selection
- Tight calf muscles due to the body being out of alignment or overuse
- Lack of arch support in shoes
- Excess pronation of feet
- Overuse and microtears without healing properly
Plantar Fasciitis Can Become Chronic Condition
If you don’t treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity, and you may develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip, and back problems because the pain from plantar fasciitis can change the way you walk.
Ice, Rest, And Advil
Plantar Fasciitis will take some time to go away. Resting and keeping your weight off your feet until the initial inflammation gets better. This is the first step but will not solve the problem. For the pain try anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Next, you need to apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes 3-4 times a day to relieve your symptoms. You can use an ice pack but the best and easiest method is to roll a frozen water bottle on the bottom of your foot.
Do not skip these methods to reduce inflammation and go straight to stretching. Your foot needs time to heal. Even after you foot is healed, you will have flare ups, and icing after a walk, run, or exercise session can keep the symptoms in check.
Stretching Is Very Important
You need to stretch the fascia and Achilles tendon. Three of the easiest stretching exercises are Calf Stretches, Ball Rolling, and Toe Stretch
Muscle tightness in the feet and calves can make the pain of plantar fasciitis worse. Loosening the calf muscles can relieve the pain. Try the following stretch:
- lean your hands against a wall
- straighten the knee of the affected leg and bend the other knee in front
- keep both feet flat on the ground
- there should be a stretching sensation in the heel and calf of the extended leg
- hold for 10 seconds
- repeat two to three times
Foot Ball Rolling
Use a tennis ball or foot roller under the foot and rolling back and forth can help loosen up the foot muscles. The idea is to stretch out the fascia tendons and ligaments.** Do not do this until you have treated the initial pain with rest and ice.
- sit tall on a chair
- roll a round object under the arch of the foot
- roll for 2 minutes
Because the fascia is connective tissue that run the entire length of your foot, you need to stretch your toes. Simply grab your toes and pull upward, stretching the foot. Next, do the reverse stretch by doing Toe Curls. Pretend you are picking up marbles with your toes.
Do these stretches multiple times a day. You can also do Foot Flexes using elastic stretch bands you can get from Amazon.
Tens Machine- Electric Impulse Healing
I have found using a Tens machine to be effective. The Tens machines is a small device with electrode pads that you can attach to varies areas of your body. It sends small electrical impulses (feels tingling) that can reduce pain and promote healing. Start with 10 minutes and you can work up to an hour. I also use this machine for my back pains. It comes with a handy traveling case and various electrode pad sizes.
Wear Shoes At All Times
From the moment you get up in the morning till you go to bed, make sure you are wearing shoes/sandals that have arch support. This can help elevate some of the pain and reduce stress on the fascia area.
Shoe Selection During The Healing Process
During the healing process, and really afterward too, you need to be aware of your shoe selection. Heels, boots, and flat sandals are a no. You will want to wear shoes that have support, especially arch support. Look for “Comfort Shoes”. The good news is that the market is full of these types of shoes. Some of my favorites include Fit Flop and Vionic.
***When buying FitFlops, measure your foot and use their official sizing guide according to foot size in centimeters. I found I had to size down in most of the styles.
Have Your Foot Arch Evaluated
You might want to consider having your walk evaluated for pronation and your feet for arch support. Comfort shoe stores such as Walking Cradle can evaluate and recommend shoe styles according to the results. Also, specialized stores that cater to runners also have staff that can evaluate and recommend athletic-style shoes that will best work for you. In the Birmingham area, I recommend the Trak Shack.
Helpful Hint! Immediately after you get out of bed, start wearing your Comfort shoes, even in the house. These types of shoes have arch support and can take the pressure off the inflamed fascia.
Choosing Shoe Insert For Stability And Healing
Consider removing the current inserts in your shoes, especially athletic style shoes, and replacing them with an insole with proper arch support and cushioning. These were recommended to me by a physical therapist and immediately provided my feet better support and less pain.
Because they are removable, I am able to move them from shoe to shoe. I also put them in my boots.
Consider Pilates For Full Body Stretching And Alignment
One of the biggest consequences of Plantar Fasciitis is that you start walking or holding your body out of alignment to help reduce the pain. What this does in gets EVERYTHING out of wack. Your calve muscles will get tight, next thing you know your back is sore.
Because everything is connected, I personally recommend adding Pilates to your workout. Pilates incorporates stretching and alignment exercises. I love it so much that I built my own personal Pilates studio in my home.
To see more pics/check out my blog post of my At Home Pilates Studio
I even have specific exercises and stretching that focuses on the feet. It is important to have a “Happy Feet”. When your feet are angry, it can throw the whole body out of balance.
Heading To The Beach
I am heading to the beach for my annual Girl’s Tennis Beach Weekend. In preparation for my trip, I have been icing my foot every day, using the Ten’s electro-impulse machine, wearing FitFlops around the house, and using my new insoles in my sneakers. But mostly, I have been resting it.
I have packed my arsenal of tools to help me elevate the pain while I am at the beach. The tennis weekend is intense, with 3 full days of continual activity. I will be stretching every morning, and icing every night.
I can’t let foot pain slow me down. Tennis is my favorite sport and I look forward to the beach trip every year and the spring tennis season.