Exercises to Help With Your Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes discomfort from the very first step in the morning. It is regarded as an overuse injury. Thus if you walk more often, you are obese, you remain on feet most of your day, you are at risk.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of ligament called plantar fascia; it is on the lower (plantar) side of your feet. In most cases, inflammation occurs at a point where the ligament is attached to a heel bone. That is why it is also called syndrome of painful heel.
People who do not exercise as much are also at risk of developing the condition. In physically inactive people calf muscle becomes too stiff, and thus even a short walk may produce pain in a heel. Plantar fasciitis is rarely an acute problem. For most people, it will start slowly. Initially, there will be an only mild feeling of discomfort in a heel. However, with time things may change for the worse, and an individual may develop pain.
Plantar fasciitis should not be neglected; it may become a chronic condition. Slowly, it may start affecting your daily life. You may feel it is difficult to walk over long distances. Untreated plantar fasciitis may cause problems of other parts as it may change your posture.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment of the condition is prolonged. Anti-inflammatory drugs would help immediately. However, long-term use of drug therapy may harm health. Therefore, treatment of the disease will always include non-pharmacological measures. Manual therapy, massage, use of icepacks, hot and cold compression socks, foot orthoses, and night splints, are some of the highly recommended methods.
Exercises to Help You Live Better With Plantar Fasciitis
Stretching is perhaps the most effective and safe treatment of plantar fasciitis. It helps reduce stress on the ligament, thus reduce inflammation and pain. Below are some of the most effective exercises, you may select a couple of these exercises and repeat them few times a day for best effect.
First stand close to the wall and put both your hands on the wall. Now slowly and bend one of the knees and at the same time move your other foot backward. Do not lift any of your feet above the ground. Stretch calf muscle of the second foot (extended back) as much as you can. Hold in the position for about ten seconds. Repeat this exercise 20 times for each foot. Ensure that calf muscle is stretched enough.
Directly Stretching Plantar Fascia
This exercise is done in a seated position. While seated bring your painful foot above your knee, and let it rest there. Now get a hold of your toes with a hand and slowly pull them to ensure that plantar fascia is stretched correctly. While stretching plantar fascia, you may feel little pain in the heel. Hold plantar fascia in the extended state for about 10 seconds and then release it. Repeat this procedure for 20 times for each foot. This exercise is beneficial in the morning, so you can make a habit of doing it as soon as you get out of bed. See Figure 2 to understand how to do this exercise.
Experience shows that exercise will help in most cases. However, it is vital that you do these exercises each day. Persistence is the key. They can be repeated multiple times a day for optimal effect. Most people will see improvement in symptoms within a couple of months. Regretfully, there are no shortcuts; plantar fasciitis relief is a long process.
What if rest, exercise, painkillers do not help? Well, there is a number of other treatment options.
It is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agent known to doctors. If oral drugs fail to help, it can be directly injected into the site of pain or reduce inflammation. It is very useful in providing relief in a short time, though such injection has its risks.
They come in many different shapes, made of various materials. They help by providing extra cushioning, thus helping to reduce inflammation over the long term. Heel pads made of soft silicone are hypo allergic, odorless, and very sturdy. In some cases, custom-made orthotics may help better.
Most effective methods when used along with exercises. People naturally sleep with feet pointed downward. It means that at night plantar fascia is relaxed, but it also results in its tightening. It explains why it aches in the morning when a person steps out of bed. Night splints keep plantar fascia bit stretched during the night, thus providing almost immediate relief from morning aches. Further, they help to overcome the pain completely within a month or two in most instances.
If exercise and other treatments do not help adequately, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy. Such a therapy may be a combination of exercises, foot massage, and much more. A physiotherapist may have special equipment to improve blood flow and reduce local inflammation.
In conclusion, exercise, night splints, anti-inflammatory medication, along with some other treatment modalities can help most.