Plantar fasciitis refers to a common foot problem which is the leading cause of ankle pain in adults. This pain, however, is unlike those that you can turn a blind eye on. Some patients report that as they take their first few steps in the morning, they already begin to feel this excruciating pain. In some other patients, this is also often felt with prolonged periods of standing, sitting, and even walking. The causes of plantar fasciitis generally have to do with collagen degeneration at the plantar fascia of the feet. In simpler terms, this means that the body’s inherent ability to repair itself is disrupted.
The good news about this condition, however, is that the symptoms can be very minimal. The treatment also is manageable and often short. Examples of treatment options are the following:
One of the characteristics of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis is that their feet are generally weak. When they’re standing, the pain that they experience comes from the act of exerting so much more effort to be able to walk or stand normally. In this case, it’s imperative to increase the flexibility of the calf muscles. Stretching and strengthening play this major role in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Common examples of stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis patients are the following:
For strengthening, the effort must be centered on the intrinsic muscles of the foot. Some exercises for strengthening such muscles are:
This treatment option is something that you can do regularly, once your feet already show signs of inflammation. When this happens, you mustn’t put any further strain or pressure on your feet. The best recourse, therefore, is to rest. Give your feet a break. Doing this can help ensure that you’re keeping your weight off your foot. Else, you might only worsen the inflammation, which can even lead to your temporary inability to walk.
When diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, another one of the most effective treatment options that your doctor may give you is to wear the right shoes. For instance, you may be wearing shoes that are too small, and this is only going to elevate the pain even more. A change of shoes can be very useful in helping manage and treat plantar fasciitis, being that you wear shoes every day.
Here are some pointers to remember when choosing the right shoes:
When your feet have also started to expand, get red, or show characteristics of inflammation, apart from resting, applying cold compress with an ice pack also works well. Ice is one of the simplest ways for you to help heal and speed up inflammation. You can set the ice on your heel at least once every eight or six hours. Let it stay for a duration of at least fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.
Apart from the regular ice pack, another way for you to go about with relaxing your feet while cooling it at the same time is to prepare a shallow pan with water and ice. Soak your heel in it for at least ten to fifteen minutes. Note that when doing this method, you have to be sure to keep your toes out. Only your heel needs to be dipped in the ice-cold mixture.
These equipment used for treatment work best for patients with low arches on their feet. The most common forms of mechanical corrections used are custom orthotics, arch taping, and over-the-counter arch supports. Here’s why these three types work well for plantar fasciitis:
If you’re one who’s been experiencing chronic pain in your heel area, this may mean that you’re a patient with plantar fasciitis. But, fear not, as this doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to be stuck in a rut of pain all the time. With proper management and treatment, plantar fasciitis can easily be cured in a timeframe of one to two years. The key is in being diligent with treatment options such as those enumerated above.