If you constantly experience a great deal of pain in the soles of your feet when you stand or walk, you may have a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. It is marked by weakness, swelling and inflammation in the planta fascia, the body's largest ligament, that runs form the heel bone to the toes. This ligament also provides arch support, so people with flat feet or high arches are more likely to be susceptible to this ailment. The condition can cause searing pain when people stand or walk after having sat for an extended time period. People who suspect they have this ailment should see a doctor immediately.
There are several reasons the plantar fascia ligament may become swollen and painful.
Three of the most common are spending an excessive amount of time standing, running or participating in athletic activity. These activities can strain and overstretch the ligament and cause micro tears to develop. Other causes of the ailment include having an injury from jumping and landing awkwardly, wearing the wrong type of shoes, or suffering with a range of medical conditions including diabetes, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Obesity, aging and problems with the structure of the foot, having an abnormal walking pattern or significant leg length imbalance and late stage pregnancy can also be contributing factors.
The Most Common Symptoms
People like runners, dancers, waiters, teachers and soldiers, who spend long periods of time on their feet, are at greater risk for developing plantar fascia problems. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition include sharp, stabbing, pain under the heel and the foot and stiffness, swelling and tenderness of parts of or the entire plantar fascia ligament. The pain is usually worse in the morning when taking the first steps of the day. Other plantar fasciitis symptoms are tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles tendons and feeling like there's a pebble in the heel of your shoe.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
The first line of treatment if you experience pain and tenderness in the plantar fascia tendon is rest. If the excruciating pain persists more than a day or two, seek medical attention. Your doctor can do a thorough examination and determine if the problem is with the plantar fascia or some other health issue that could potentially be more severe. They will then prescribe a series of treatments based on the cause and severity of your condition. Cortisone injections, over-the-counter pain killers, gentle massages, an ankle compression sleeve or CompressionGear compression sock for plantar fasciitis support and physical therapy are among the most common treatments doctors usually recommend.
There are a number of things people can do at home to reduce the pain, swelling and tenderness of the plantar fascia associated with this ailment. In addition to wearing a plantar fasciitis sock or an ankle compression sleeve from CompressionGear.com to provide plantar fasciitis support, taking ibuprofen or Aleve and using anti-inflammatory creams can help to reduce the pain and swelling. Using cold compresses, soaking the affected foot or feet in ice baths and rolling your foot over a frozen bottle of water, can also help to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salts may also help.
Stretch And Massage The Feet
Either getting your feet professionally massaged or gently massaging it yourself using your hands or rolling your feet over a lacrosse ball and applying a little pressure, can also help to ease the pain. You can do this while relaxing watching television or sitting at your desk working. Stretching exercises that target the soles of the feet and the arches can also help to bring relief. Some people find that yoga poses like downward dog, garland, hero's and thunderbolt can also help. The key is to do them slowly and gently and stop immediately if the pain suddenly becomes sharp or too intense.
Get Better Footwear
Old, worn out, or poorly constructed footwear that lacks arch support can cause or exacerbate plantar fasciitis. Replacing them with athletic shoes with soft, cushioned, insoles and proper arch support can help to relieve the pressure and pain in the plantar fascia. Many people find that custom orthotic shoe inserts can help to reduce excess foot motion and irritation of the inflamed tissues and decrease the strain on the plantar fascia that can cause intense, stabbing, debilitating, pain. The right shoes can even help heal the condition and allow people to return to their normal activities.
Many people find switching to a diet that's high in foods that contain anti-inflammatory agents helps to reduce the swelling in their plantar fascia and ease their pain. Eating kale, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts and a wide range of other healthy nuts, blueberries, strawberries and other nutrient and anti-oxidant rich berries can also help. Making sure there is enough salmon, tuna and other species of fatty fish in your diet and adding spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric to the seasonings you use, can cause the inflammation and pain in the plantar fascia to go away.
A Combination Of Treatments
Eliminating the pain and swelling in your plantar fascia generally requires a combination of treatments. Doing things like wearing an ankle compression sleeve, a plantar fasciitis sock and any other type of compression sock for plantar fasciitis support, combined with ice and heat treatments, massages, stretching, physical therapy, dietary changes and anti-inflammatory medication can help to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis. It's important you don't simply medicate yourself and ignore the symptoms. The adjustments your body makes may lead to problems with your foot, ankle, knee, knee, hip and back.
Healing Takes Time
The most important things for getting your plantar fascia to heal is to give it time to rest and avoid irritating it. That may mean giving up some of your favorite activities for a while. However, with proper care, in no time at all you’ll be back to your normal lifestyle.