6 Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis Pain
The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue found at the bottom of the foot. It functions not only to connect the heel and the metatarsals, but to also provide support the bottom of the foot when walking and running.
A common condition that affects the plantar fascia is plantar fasciitis. This condition is a common cause of heel pain. People who suffer from this are usually athletes who repeatedly run or walk for a long duration of time. It’s also common among overweight and obese individuals, since it increases wear and tear on the plantar fascia.
The condition was initially thought to simply be a case of inflammation. Through the years, based on microscopic changes observed on the connective tissue, it has been established that it involves degeneration of plantar fascia.
How to diagnose plantar fasciitis?
First step towards any intervention towards plantar fasciitis is to first determine the condition correctly. In order to even consider plantar fasciitis, there has to be the presence of heel pain. The type of pain can either be dull or even be sharp. The pain may also be described as radiating in some instances.
Pain usually occurs the moment you take your first step in the morning. In order to properly diagnose plantar fasciitis, it’s a common practice for healthcare providers to perform X-ray and MRI to rule out fractures and other potential causes of heel pain.
Upon physical examination, patients suffering from plantar fasciitis usually have limited dorsiflexion because of tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon. It elicits pain since the plantar fascia is stretched during dorsiflexion.
Home treatments for plantar fasciitis
Now that plantar fasciitis has been confirmed by medical practitioners, what are the most common interventions that you can do to treat the condition? Fortunately, treatment of plantar fasciitis requires non-invasive treatments that you can do at home. However, you should always perform these remedies with caution. Here are some home remedies that you can do to help alleviate plantar fasciitis.
1. Arch support bands
A generic solution towards heel pain is an arch support band. It can help relieve up to seven causes of foot pains including plantar fasciitis. The good thing about this solution is it’s effective, yet affordable. It runs around less than $10 per pair.
What it does is compress the mid foot to provide additional stability. Another reason to have an arch support band is that it can be used on any type of shoe in the market. It also comes in different sizes.
2. Wear appropriate shoes
Another simple adjustment that you can do at home is to wear the appropriate type of shoes. Those individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis should look for the right type of shoes that offer the necessary support. Most common incidences of plantar fasciitis involve flat feet and those with high arches.
Support shoes are designed to give what normal arched feet are supposed to do. With the right footwear, not only are you preventing heel pain, you can also prevent incidences of injured knees and ankles.
To determine the right type of footwear, it is imperative to talk to shoe stores and even have your foot checked by experts for their recommendations.
3. Hot and cold compress
A great way to alleviate heel pain is by applying hot and cold therapy towards your foot’s arch. Keep in mind that there are times when hot compress may worsen the heel pain for some individuals. Thus, it’s a good idea to also try cold compress.
For most individuals, cold compress has the better soothing effect towards heel pain caused by an inflamed plantar fascia. Using a water bottle straight from the fridge, you can gently roll the bottle into your foot. You can also consider placing your foot in an ice bucket right after running.
One of the best ways to manage heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is to stretch the plantar fascia. These stretches can be done first thing in the morning to prevent discomforts. One of the most effective ways to relax the plantar fascia is by stretching the calf. You can do this in different ways. You can stand and reach towards your foot, without bouncing and maintain the position for 30 seconds. An alternative stretch for the calf requires that you stagger your legs and face the wall. Place both hands on the wall and feel the stretch on your gastrocnemius muscle.
Once you’ve stretched your calf, you can now stretch your foot. While sitting, grab your toes and pull them gently towards you. You’ll feel the arch of your foot to stretch. You can also perform a similar stretch using a towel. Place the towel by the arch of your feet and give it a thug towards you.
Deep tissue massage can help alleviate heel pain associated to the condition. If you don’t have the time to visit a physiotherapist, you can simply opt to step on either a golf or a tennis ball. If you have a partner performing the massage at home, there are different techniques that can be done from light stroking of the toes to applying firm pressure from the heel into the sole of the foot.
6. Decrease the workload of the feet
One of the best ways to prevent heal pain is to decrease the workload on your feet. Obese and overweight individuals put more strain on their feet than people with normal BMI. One of the best ways to prevent irritation of your plantar fascia is by controlling your weight. Both diet and exercise are two of the most effective strategies that can be used in order to maintain a healthy physical state.
Another great way to lessen the workload of the feet is to limit the distance you are walking or running. If you are planning to stay active, you can take a different approach to physical activities. Instead of running, you can try running and other types of exercises such as doing kettlebells and stationary biking.