Plantar fasciitis is a disorder that results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The pain is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest. Pain is also frequently brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin and may be worsened by a tight Achilles tendon. The condition typically comes on slowly.
The causes of plantar fasciitis are not entirely clear. Risk factors include overuse such as from long periods of standing, an increase in exercise, and obesity. It is also associated with inward rolling of the foot and a lifestyle that involves little exercise.
The one thing that we ARE clear about though, is that it is incredibly painful, and can interfere considerably with day-to-day tasks.
Here are some helpful remedies and exercises that you can perform at home, to assist in recovery and prevention. However, the best thing we can recommend is to come and see us – we will do our best to help reduce the debilitating effects of plantar fasciitis.
Try these little exercises:
1. Marble pick up. Practice picking up small marbles or stones from the floor by scrunching up your big toe and second toe. Aim for ten of these, and then start increasing to 2 sets.
2. Tissue scrunching. Place a tissue on the floor and scrunch the tissue up with your toes (keeping your heel on the ground). Aim for ten and then increase to add another set.
3. Prayer posture. Sit on all fours, tuck your toes under and then sit back on your heels. Remain in this posture for 30 seconds and edge yourself further into the stretch with each deep breath. Repeat.
4. Self massage. Use your thumbs (or the rubber end of an unsharpened pencil) and push into the sore points in the sole of your foot. Try holding that pressure until it starts to feel better, and/or wiggle your toes to help the tight spot release. Move around to the top of your foot and again push on any sore spots between your toes. Continue on looking for sore spots in your calf muscle and he muscle that runs along the front of your shin.
5. Stretch your calf muscles by standing on the edge of a step and letting your heel drop downwards. Hold for a good 20 seconds and then repeat the same stretch but with a slightly bent knee to get the deeper muscles.
6. Wear supportive shoes. Ditch the jandals, scuffs, high heels and bare feet for a while. No one will see you first thing in the morning in your dressing gown and sneakers!