If you struggle with chronic plantar fasciitis, treating your heel pain is probably a daily concern. Unfortunately, most people work full time and find it difficult to make the time to relieve their painful symptoms.
Plantar fasciitis causes inflammation to the band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes and is the most common cause of heel pain. Left untreated, chronic pain can get in the way of your daily activities.
The good news is that there are a number of simple yet effective treatments for instant plantar fasciitis relief that can be done right at home or even during a quick break at work. Here are some tips to lessen and maybe even eliminate the painful symptoms caused by plantar fasciitis.
1. Watch Your Footwear
Your first line of defense with plantar fasciitis is to use proper foot support, which means finding the best shoes or even orthotics that provide adequate support. Here are a few tips on what you should wear:
- Find a shoe that’s comfortable. It may seem obvious, but if it’s uncomfortable, don’t wear it.
- Choose shoes with a low or moderate heel that have excellent arch support and good shock absorbency.
- Avoid high heels.
- Avoid walking around barefoot on hard surfaces.
- When shoes become old or worn-out, replace them.
- When you purchase new shoes, break them in gradually by wearing them around your house for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Do so for a week before wearing them out for an entire day.
- Utilize orthotics such as insoles, custom-fitted arch supports, heel cups or cushions and even night splints, which can improve the position of your foot and prevent it from pointing downward while you sleep.
Stretching the arch of your foot, your calf and the other muscles around your foot and ankle can help improve your mobility and promote healing. Stretching several times a day is a simple way to elongate your plantar fascia.
You can use simple massage techniques to soothe the ache in your heels. Just press your thumbs into your arches and heels and press firmly, working from the balls of your feet toward your heel. You can also use a tennis ball, a golf ball or even a frozen water bottle under your arches and roll it around to massage the affected area.
The pressure from your feet being massaged distracts pain receptors and allows blood flow to increase in your arch and heel. It can also break down improperly healed tears on the plantar fascia ligament.
4. Apply Ice
Applying ice is an excellent method to quickly reduce heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Ice packs, ice cubes and even inexpensive Ice Pack Slippers — which mold to the bottom of feet — can help decrease inflammation. Be sure to cover the ice with a cloth and hold it over the painful area three to four times a day for 15 minutes at a time. An ice cube can also be rolled under your foot, much like the ball technique mentioned above.
Sometimes, your feet just need a rest. Cut back on any activity you feel may be triggering the inflammation, especially high-impact sports. Your plantar fasciitis could be a sign that your feet need a break. Resting for a few days can help reduce inflammation and give the injury time to heal. If you wish to stay active, try low-impact activities like swimming.
Receive High-Quality Treatment at OrthoBethesda
If you still struggle with chronic pain despite attempting these home remedies for plantar fasciitis, it’s time to contact the compassionate team at OrthoBethesda. We’re proud to serve the Bethesda, MD, community with high-quality orthopedic services.