If you have ever had Plantar Fasciitis you will know. If that first step out of bed in the morning practically brings you to your knees or has you limping to the bathroom – guess what? You probably do. It is one of those nagging pains that you think will just go away. Except it doesn’t go away, but continues to bug you and actually gets worse. I’m sharing this today because I realized when I got out of bed this morning that my right foot did NOT hurt. Hallelujah!! All throughout the day teaching classes, walking around and staying on my feet I noticed my foot felt normal for the first time in a long time. I had been fighting Plantar Fasciitis since last Spring so want to share some tips.
Plantar Fasciitis is really a common foot injury and can be fixed. It just takes time, patience, and then some more patience. If you are an active person, or someone that spends time on their feet, and you haven’t had plantar fasciitis, chances are you will. So, to help you nip it in the bud I’m here to share a bit about it and what has helped for me.
First of all, what exactly is plantar fasciitis? The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that is on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. It helps support the arch in the foot and when the tension is stressed, tiny tears occur which cause the inflammation and pain in the foot. It is an odd thing because while it might feel like knives stabbing the foot first thing in the morning, it generally feels better after walking around and getting the foot warm.
Plantar Fasciitis is an equal opportunity injury. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or fitness fanatic to get it. If you are a hairdresser on your feet all day you might have it. You might be a teacher standing in unsupportive shoes every day. In fact, my brother got it from walking in the woods scouting tracks of land all day wearing boots. Wearing flat shoes or going barefoot can contribute to getting it. Adding mileage or a new workout routine, playing tennis on hard courts, old shoes and just the way your foot is made can contribute.
Once you feel that pain you have to get on it. Stretching hamstrings, calves and the Achilles is the first step. Stretch several times throughout the day, every single day. One stretch: Stand against a wall, placing your heel on the and ball of the foot up against the wall. Slightly bend your knee and press your foot in the wall, leaning forward. repeat. Second stretch: Lie on your back with a towel wrapped around the ball of the foot and pull the ball of your foot toward your face.
Next, ice, ice and ice. I always have a frozen water bottle in my freezer. Grab it and roll it under your foot several times a day anytime you sit down.
My other favorite thing is to massage the bottom of the foot with a tennis or lacrosse ball. I tell you, it hurts so good! Stand on the ball and hold it under different areas of your foot, where it is inflamed and even around the balls of the feet.
Of course, it would also make sense to rest the foot, right? Try to switch up the activity that is causing the pain. Low impact exercises might need to be your new friend for a while. Think swimming, elliptical machine, rowing, biking, Pilates and yoga.
Another tip is to check out your shoes. Are they really old and giving you no support? It might be time to get a new pair and adding a good insole with arch support helps a lot of people.
I have had it in the past so last Spring when the bottom of my right heel and also the side of that heel began to bug me, I figured it was back. I did all the right things I had done in the past, but it just kept getting worse. I stretched every day, rolled on the lacrosse ball, iced when I could and got new inserts. It didn’t get any better. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. In the past I had used custom orthotics and a boot to sleep in last time I had Plantar Fasciitis and it really helped. I asked for the boot and was happy to sleep in it at night. Of course, it makes getting up in the middle of the night a huge pain . . .
The BOOT does a great job of keeping the foot stretched throughout the night. This is a huge help to me when I get Plantar Fasciitis. Another thing that really helped me this go around was new shoes.
In December I published my Holiday Gift Guide and included a pair of Hoka running shoes. I have been wearing these shoes since December for a lot of my activities and I think they have been a huge help.
They may look funny but boy do they do the foot some good! A friend who also had some feet problems recommended them and I have really felt the difference. Even walking the dogs had gotten to be incredibly painful until I starting wearing these shoes.
Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for the other. It may take only one of these tips to help you or it may take all of them. In my experience the most important factor in the healing process is patience.
Have you experienced Plantar Fascitiis? How did you heal? Did you try anything different?
Enjoy Your Day!