With the weather starting to warm up here in the Valley, we Arizonans are finding it easier to get out of bed and enjoy the sunshine and nice weather. That is the case unless you find your first steps out of bed painful--and the pain makes you want to crawl back into bed. This severe morning pain is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis.
Simply put, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes. This band of tissue is not made to stretch, so you experience pain when your muscles are tight and pull on the ligament, causing it to tear. The main symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain, foot pain, stiffness, and tenderness.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by repetitive strain placed on the sole of the foot, causing an overuse injury. Common activities like excessive exercise (like running or walking) and ill-fitting footwear greatly contribute to straining and aggravating the ligament of the sole of the foot.
There are various methods to relieve the pain. Here are some best practices to beat plantar fasciitis:
●Stretch the calves and hamstrings. If you have plantar fasciitis, you most likely have been told that it is important to stretch your calves. However, it is also important to stretch your hamstrings, which are often neglected when treating plantar fasciitis. Since your hamstrings and calves are essentially connected, it is important to stretch both muscle groups for more pain relief.
●Stretch more! We cannot emphasize importance of stretching enough. Stretching allows those tight muscles to relax and relieve that pain on the sole of your foot. Tight muscles only aggravate the pain more.
●Soothe the sole. A simple home remedy we recommend is rolling a frozen water bottle on the floor with the sole of your foot. This helps relieve immediate pain and numb those tight muscles for a length of time.
●Consider custom orthotics. Perhaps your feet are lacking proper support from your shoes, so custom orthotics would be a great way to provide long-term relief and give your feet better support overall.
●Avoid certain footwear. Footwear lacking proper support, like flip flops and flat shoes, ultimately aggravates your plantar fascia. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take note when a certain pair of shoes causes foot pain.
If your plantar fasciitis is keeping you from getting out of bed and enjoying the day, let Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona help you. Our team is here to help you relieve the pain and get you back to walking comfortably. You can request an appointment online, or give us a call today at (480) 963-9000.