Plantar Fascia Pain Relief, The Three Key’s

Plantar fasciitis is probably the most common source of foot pain. It is caused by chronic stretching and irritation of the plantar fascia producing inflammation and pain. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue, like a ligament, that attaches to the bottom of your heel bone (calcaneus) and extends out to the toes. Its purpose is to hold up the arch of the foot during stance and gait. The plantar fascia normally elongates and relaxes during gait. Plantar fasciitis arises when the plantar fascia remains in an elongated or stretched form for longer than normal periods of time.

What can you do at to help alleviate and prevent recurrence?

1. Stretch

  • The plantar fascia is an extension of the Achilles tendon. Therefore, if you stretch your calf muscles, you are also stretching the plantar fascia.
  • Dedicated stretching is the key. Once or twice a day is not nearly enough to adequately stretch and relieve tension on the plantar fascia. Four times a day is a goal to shoot for.
  • These stretching periods do not have to be 30 minute long sessions. 10 minutes at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed are great times to get in a quick stretch.
  • I would also recommend a quick stretch before you get out of bed in the morning to loosen the plantar fascia a bit before you take your first steps.

2. Supportive Shoes/Inserts

  • We have discussed the importance of good supportive shoes and custom orthotics in prior installments. Orthotics can make you comfortable during work or activities.
  • The purpose of such gear is to hold up the arch, keeping it from collapsing and thus reducing prolonged elongation of the plantar fascia. Orthotics can also disperse the pressure from the fascia to the correct areas.

3. Ice

  • If you are suffering from plantar fascial pain, a little ice can go a long way in relieving pain.
  • I recommend freezing a bottle of water and then rolling that bottle up and down your arch while sitting. This need only be done for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day.
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed are perfect times to perform such a task.

Supplemental Steps:

  • Pain meds sometimes it is necessary to take a dose of some form of anti-inflammatory to help reduce the pain.
  • Reducing activity if you are an avid exerciser, it might be prudent to reduce your activity until you notice dramatic reduction in your pain.
  • Steroid injection only if the pain is at an unbearable level that is hindering your day to day function.
  • Surgery some cases of plantar fasciitis actually need surgical intervention. This should be done after conservative means fail.

If you are suffering from foot ailments please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886. You can also visit our main website, or for more information on heel problems, visit our heel pain website.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Heel Pain

Tags: Foot Surgery, heel Pain, Heel Problems, Heel Surgery, Orthotics, Plantar Fasciitis