Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. If you’ve ever had pain in the bottom of your foot with the first few steps out of bed in the morning, you’ve probably had some experience with this painful, and common, condition.
While there are some very interesting and advanced treatments to help get rid of your discomfort, there are some simple things you can do at home to help prevent and possibly reverse plantar fasciitis. Here are four easy tips for helping you deal with your plantar fasciitis –
- Calf Stretching:
As you may already know, the first few steps out of bed in the morning can be the worst of the day. Those first few steps can be enough to re-aggravate your condition, putting you into a vicious cycle of inflammation and pain. The best way to help break that cycle is to stretch your calf before taking those first steps in the morning. When the muscles in your calf are tight, they pull on the heel bone, making your plantar fascia very taut and prone to injury. To help loosen those muscles, take a towel or belt and loop it around the ball of your foot. Keeping your leg straight, gently pull towards your body until you feel a stretch in the lower part of your leg. Hold that for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times before taking your first step out of bed.
- Plantar Fascia Stretching:
Loosening up the tissues that are irritated obviously makes sense, but you need to know how to properly do so. Luckily, there’s a very simple way. All you have to do is pull your toes up with your hand until you feel a stretch along the ball of your foot. You may feel the stretch anywhere from the ball of your foot to your heel. Holding this position for 30 seconds a few times can make a world of difference in your pain levels.
- Massage with Hands:
Who doesn’t love a good massage? I suppose you could pay for someone to rub the tissues in the bottom of your foot, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, look no further than the humble tennis ball. Placing a tennis ball on the ground and gently rolling it under foot for a few minutes can help loosen up your plantar fascia, making it much less likely to become irritated. Put enough pressure on the ball to get a deep massage. You may feel some soreness, which is fine, but back off if you feel any pain.
- Ice Massage
Freezing a water bottle and rolling it under your foot for 10 minutes at the end of the day can be a very effective way to keep inflammation in check while staying loose.
One thing to keep in mind is that while these tips have been proven to work, they’re not an instant fix. It can take a few weeks of consistency with them before your pain levels begin to change. If you’re not seeing any improvement after making an honest effort, it may be time to head to your Podiatrist for an exam.