How to Manage Plantar Faciitis Pain at Home

There’s nothing quite like plantar fasciitis pain. Unlike some foot issues, it actually doesn’t hurt while you are walking and running.

However, later, while relaxing, or perhaps sleeping, the plantar tendon has the opportunity to swell and become inflamed. So there you are sitting pretty, and the moment you put your heel on the ground, it feels like you have just stepped on a sharp toy.

The plantar tendon runs from the ball of your foot to the heel. It’s the tendon that holds the arch of your foot in place and allows you to flex your foot. The attachment at the heel is the one that tends to become swollen in most people, although some have pain all along the tendon.

The good news is, you don’t have to live with your pain. There are things you can do at home to get relief.

Lose weight

Sorry, but the more weight you put on your feet, the more weight you are putting on that little tendon. Eventually, something is going to give.

In the case of plantar fasciitis, extra weight may cause you to pull the tendon away from the heel and may cause the tendon to become inflamed.

Stretch

There are some theories that suggest that tight calf muscles force your foot to flex more when walking, putting stress on the plantar tendon. Simply stretching your calf muscles can help reduce that stress and may help relieve pain.

Seek support… in your shoes

Give your feet a break from flat shoe beds and high heels. Instead, wear shoes that support the arch of your foot.

This gives your plantar tendon a chance to rest and heal. If you must wear dress shoes, add supportive insoles.

Kiss those kicks goodbye

Toss your old sports shoes, even if you think they still “have a little wear” left in them. Over time, your sports shoes lose their elasticity and don’t offer the support you need while playing, running, or working out.

In addition, many people tend to wear one side of their shoes more than the other. This puts stress on your foot as it turns inward, or outward.

Ice, ice, baby

If you find yourself in a lot of pain, try icing your foot while resting. Be sure to wrap an ice pack in a towel to protect the skin of your foot from the cold. In addition, use the 10 minutes on; 10 minutes off rule to get the most out of your treatment.

Putting the foot up on a table or footrest also helps prevent blood and fluid from pooling around the tendon.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Many podiatrists encourage patients to roll the affected foot on a foam roller or a frozen water bottle. This helps to gently stretch the tendon while stretching the calf muscles.

You might also try rolling a golf ball around with your heel. This gentle pressure helps to keep inflammation down. But do not press so hard that it hurts. You may do more damage.

Change your gym jam

If you are an ardent runner or the highest jumper in your trampoline class, you may want to rethink your exercise. Instead of a high impact workout, instead move to a low impact routine.

Try cycling or swimming. Even an elliptical trainer moves your body through a wide range of motions without forcing your feet to slap against the pavement.

Over-the-counter treatment

If nothing else works, head to your local pharmacy for an analgesic. Try the lowest dose that relieves the pain.

Talk to Your Doctor

If the pain just won’t go away, or if you don’t want to wait, talk to the doctor. There is a wide range of treatment options available.
The providers at Orthopaedic Podiatric & Spine Institute can help design a program that gets your feet and your whole body standing tall. Call us or book online for an appointment today.

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