Plantar Fasciitis - Best Treatment Tips and Information
The information in this Hubpages-article is published in good faith and for general information purpose only, it is not medical advice. For medical consultation and treatment, please seek the assistance of a doctor or health professional in your area.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Understanding what our bodies are telling us is a key way we can remain in the best possible health, even into old age.
From minor aches and sore spots to problems that may require remedy, maintaining good fitness requires understanding your body and not ignoring any pains that may come up.
What is Plantar Fasciitis and what are some warning signs that you may have it? - Let´s find out.
In addition, we will review potential causes of Plantar Fasciitis, as well as treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical.
A Basic Definition Of Plantar Fasciitis
Also known as jogger’s heel, Plantar Fasciitis effects approximately 1 out of ever 10 people at some point during their lives.
More often then not, the Plantar Fasciitis will grow as a gradual problem, increasing in pain over an extended period of time until it becomes unbearable.
As an increasing number of Americans are hitting retirement and having Plantar Fasciitis related problems, science and medicine has responded in kind, providing new and innovative ways to handle and approach Plantar Fasciitis issues.
Warning Signs That You May Have Plantar Fasciitis
The best way to determine whether or not you have Plantar Fasciitis is to pay attention to your foot. Poke it gently, and see where the pain is coming from.
If the pain is coming from the bottom of your foot, especially near your heel, then it may be Plantar Fasciitis. In addition to poking your foot, pay attention to how much pain you feel when you first wake up.
Usually, the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis will be worse when you first wake up, especially with the first few steps you take.
Finally, pay attention to when you have been spending long periods of time either standing up or are getting up from a seated position. Periods of inactivity can sometimes trigger the pain.
Potential Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding the causes of Plantar Fasciitis first requires knowing a little more about your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is primarily responsible for Plantar Fasciitis.
As you walk and stretch, it acts like as a shock absorber, helping to reduce the impact on your feet as you walk.
In addition, it acts like a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot.
Through repeated use, small tares can begin to form in the plantar fascia.
When stretching and moving around your foot, this will irritate the damage and make it worse. It will eventually become inflamed if not treated.
Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by any number of the following conditions. If you fall into more then one category, then the chances of getting Plantar Fasciitis increase dramatically.
Top 3 Signs Your Foot Pain is Plantar Fasciitis
5 Potential Causes
#1. Occupation On Your Feet
If you work on your feet all day, then you increase your risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.
The more hours you spend walking, the less muscle mass you have in your legs, and the more varied your activity, the greater the chance that you will get Plantar Fasciitis.
#2. Being Overweight Or Obese
Being above your recommended weight level will lead to an increased chance of Plantar Fasciitis. The more weight you have, the more pressure you are putting on your plantar fascia.
The increased weight will wear down your plantar fascia quicker, leading to an earlier onset of Plantar Fasciitis.
#3. Existing Problems With Foot or Stride
Plantar Fasciitis can also occur if you have problems with either your foot or the way you walk. Your stride for example can cause Plantar Fasciitis to occur.
If this is the result, then simply changing how you walk may help.
In addition, if you have naturally flat feet or otherwise suffer from foot related problems, your chance of getting Plantar Fasciitis will increase.
#4. Forms Of Exercise
Exercises that place more stress on the plantar fascia, including ballet dancing, dancing, and long-distance running, all increase your risk of Plantar Fasciitis.
#5. Your Current Age
Plantar Fasciitis is most often seen in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60.
How To Avoid Plantar Fasciitis
Pain of any type can be debilitating and impact your lifestyle in a negative way. This is especially true when you are dealing with pain in your feet and heels.
Since you rely on your heels for support, it can be difficult to impossible to resume normal levels of activity while dealing with heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain that currently exists.
It stems from a strain or overuse of the plantar fascia. This means that you need to know how the plantar fascia functions within the foot and what steps that you can take to minimize your risk of being diagnosed with this heel pain condition.
Plantar fasciitis can be a condition that is long term and only worsens with time.
One of the best ways to lessen your risk of this injury is to relax more often. You need to give your lower legs, ankles and feet a break from time to time.
Overdoing it is often the cause of plantar fasciitis, so you need to get in the habit of resting regularly to make sure that you do not put too much stress on your plantar fascia.
If you have tension at any part of your legs, you will be more likely to strain your plantar fascia, this means that you need to get a lot of rest and take it easy whenever you notice tension in your legs or calves beginning to build.
It is also a good idea to change up your stride to help prevent against plantar fasciitis. If you land with a mid-foot strike you will be much less likely to deal with this type of injury or pain.
Landing evenly on the middle of your foot will help to dramatically lessen the strain put on your heel and help you to avoid this very painful injury.
3 Effective Plantar Fasciitis Stretches
Occuring through a variety of causes, Plantar Fasciitis can slowly sneak up on you.
You may not even know something is wrong until enough damage has been done. What you will be left with is pain every time you try to walk.
There are numerous treatments that can address the problem and resolve it in 6 months.
From basic stretches to minimally invasive surgery, relief from the pain only requires that you create a treatment plan and stick with it.
Let´s review some basic stretches you can do to reduce your Plantar Fasciitis. In addition to lessening the pain, these stretches will also help to protect you from future occurrence of Plantar Fasciitis.
-Stretching Your Plantar Fasciitis Directly!
Stretches to help lessen and prevent Plantar Fasciitis will involve you stretching all parts of your legs. That being said, the first stretch you can focus on will target your Plantar Fasciitis directly.
The following exercise will help to loosen your Plantar Fascia tissue.
The first thing you should do is to sit down and bring your knees towards your chest until you can grab your toes. Taking the toes of one foot, slowly pull the toes up and look for a stretch around the ball of your feet.
It may take you a few moments to find the spot. Once you feel the stretch, hold your toes up for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times every day.
-A Stretch You Can Do Before Leaving The Bed!
Plantar Fasciitis is most notable in the morning when you wake up.
A couple of steps is all you need to cause a great deal of pain and even undo progress you made the previous day.
What you should do is stretch before getting out of bed. To this end, there is a simple stretch that requires nothing more then a band, towel, or belt.
Sit up straight and stretch your legs out in font of you. Using your towel, belt, or band, loop it around your foot and pull back.
In particular, when looping it around your foot, make sure it goes around the ball of your foot.
While maintaining a straight leg, gently pull the belt or towel towards you. This will flex your lower leg.
By doing this five times with 30 second holds, you can greatly strengthen your plantar fascia and take those first few steps in the day with confidence.
-Strength Train Your Calves!
By strengthening your calves, you stop a number of different ankle and shin problems from occuring, including Plantar Fasciitis. In addition, stronger calves will help your recovery time with Plantar Fasciitis.
Begin this exercise by standing against a wall and sliding the leg with Plantar Fasciitis back. Once it has gone about a foot and a half behind you, apply pressure by pushing your heel down.
What you are looking for is a stretch in the lower part of your leg. Once you feel the stretch, hold it for 30 seconds before releasing. Do this again 3 times.
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There are two ways that you can massage your feet and plantar fascia after stretching. While both are relatively easy, one requires a bit more preparation.
The first involves taking a tennis ball and placing it on the ground. Putting the center of your foot over it, slowly press down your weight until you feel the tennis ball deforming. Roll the ball around your foot for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
You can also take a plastic bottle, fill it full of water, and put it in the freezer. Before the bottle freezes, take it out and put the bottle on the floor. Roll the bottom of your foot over it again and again.
This will help ice your plantar fascia while also providing a gentle massage that will help reduce pain and swelling.
If after 6 months the Plantar Fasciitis is still around, then begin considering alternatives to stretching. In particular, there are specialty made shoes, insoles, and even surgical options that are minimally invasive and provide a good chance of relieving the pain you feel.
Remember, just because one stretch does not seem to be helping, doesn’t mean that you should give up. Fighting and beating Plantar Fasciitis requires finding the right stretch routine for you.
Self Massage Techniques For Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis Massage Techniques
In many cases, simply staying off your feet for a day or two can restore you to normal conditions.
However, in certain cases, lifestyle changes may be necessary, particularly if your plantar fasciitis is directly correlated to your weight.
Nonetheless, plantar fasciitis massage is a concept that a number of people swear by.
To that end, there are several things about massage techniques for plantar fasciitis that you’ll want to keep in mind:
Massage oils can certainly be used for these types of massages. However, if need be, you can get everything you need by simply using baby oil.
Gentle stroking gestures up to the top of your foot is one technique to try. Your foot’s sole will rest against the hand of your therapist, while the thumb/fingers of the therapist’s other hand utilizes pressure that moves from your toes to your ankle.
Have thumbs placed on top of your metatarsal area, with fingers placed firmly under the ball of your foot. Grasping your foot, thumbs will begin moving outwards, spreading the metatarsal bones along the way.
Applying the technique five to ten times in a single session is ideal.
Applying cross friction across your heels is yet another plantar fasciitis massage technique you can benefit from. A gradual movement to the ball of your foot is ideal.
Firm pressure should then be applied down the soles of your feet, moving down to your heels. This should be done very carefully ten to fifteen times.
The heel of your hands can be useful in a great many situations. Your heels can keep up a nice degree of sustain pressure that will travel from the ball of your feet to your heels.
You may experience very mild discomfort with this particular technique, but it should not be severe or even debilitating under any circumstances.
Although you may feel some discomfort in the beginning, it is worth sticking with this technique. It can release a great deal of tension in your plantar fascia area.
A thumb can be used to apply smallish circular frictions to any tight knot or lump you may feel in your plantar fascia area.
The pressure applied here should be deep, but not to the point of being painful. Massaging the calf muscles can be immensely useful, as well.
Plantar Fasciitis Massage Benefits
These are some of the plantar fasciitis massage techniques you can take advantage of. Remember that in order for these techniques to be truly effective, you are going to want to make sure these techniques come from certified, licensed massage professionals.
5 Great Plantar Fasciitis Products Available On The Market
#1. Plantar Fasciitis Bands For Your Feet
Simple, inexpensive, and effective, you can purchase bands that wrap around your foot and help alleviate the pain of Plantar Fasciitis.
Similar to a very large rubber band, these bands are specifically designed to compress your Plantar Fasciitis, alleviating some of the pain you feel with every step you take.
While not a cure all by themselves, they can go a long way to making each day more bearable.
#2. Plantar Fasciitis Bands For Stretching
There are a number of stretching aids created specifically for Plantar Fasciitis.
What make them different from other bands, belts, or even towels is that they have a thickness and length specifically designed for doing Plantar Fasciitis stretching exercises.
These are especially useful in the early morning calve and Plantar Fasciitis stretches you do before getting out of bed.
Inexpensive, these bands can go a long way to helping you recover from Plantar Fasciitis.
#3. Plantar Fasciitis Hot Cold Massagers
While some prefer a bottle of water stuck in the freezer for 20 minutes, others prefer special products specifically targeted towards massaging the Plantar Fasciitis.
Along with providing an excellent surface in which to role your feet over, these devices can be both heated and cooled, depending on what you need to relax whatever pain you are feeling.
#4. Plantar Fasciitis Inserts, Socks, and Shoes
These physical devices may help you and your Plantar Fasciitis recover quicker and faster. However, more often then not, they will require that you see a specialist who can find the right foot related product for you.
Without their help, you may be shooting in the dark until you find something that just happens to work. If you do not have the opinion of a doctor, then do a search for Plantar Fasciitis related shoes, inserts, and socks, and read reviews from people whose experience mirrors yours.
While there is no lack of selection, the trick is finding the one thing that will work the best.
#5. Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Models
Along with aids for daily use, there are also several Plantar Fasciitis products you can wear to bed.
These work to keep your fascia in the right direction, making recovery in the morning significantly easier.
What Plantar Fasciitis Product Is Right For Me?
Ultimately, it depends on how you got Plantar Fasciitis and your physiology.
The only way you can solve your Plantar Fasciitis is to search around, and maybe try more then one product to see what works best.
© 2019 Tom