Plantar fasciitis can be one of the most frustrating and stubborn foot conditions that can interfere with your life and can prevent you from enjoying simple things in life such as walking, running, or exercising.
What makes plantar fasciitis even more frustrating is that traditional medical treatments such as medication are often slow to provide relief. And surgery is rarely an option.
Over the years our experts at The Edge have helped hundreds if not thousands of people deal with this dibilatating pain. Here are a few of our tips:
Stretch 1. Upon waking up, remain in bed, lay on your back with your legs stretched flat out, point your toes straight towards the end of the bed and hold for three seconds, then flex your feet trying to pull your toes to your shins, hold for three seconds. Repeat 9 more times, then get out of bed.
Stretch 2. While standing with feet shoulder width apart, distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Flex one of your feet, try to bring the toes to the shin, hold for 3 seconds and switch feet and repeat 9 times. The trick is while flexing your foot try not to shift your weight, keep your body weight evenly distributed during the flexing.
Book a massage with a Register Massage Therapist. The massage therapist should be instructed to focus on your calf muscles and feet. The key to a relaxed plantar fascia is a loose achilles tendon. The key to a loose achilles is a soft relaxed shin and calf muscles.
Self massage with a roller or golf ball:
The focus needs to be on the lower legs since the plantar fascia, the calf muslces and achilles tendon are all connected. We suggest to start by massaging the calf muscles. Place the roller under the middle of calf muscle on one of your legs. Do a full clockwise rotation of your foot at the ankle in a slow and smooth pace, repeat five times. Keeping to the same leg switch the movement to a counter clockwise rotation five times. Now switch to the opposite leg and repeat the rotations both clockwise and counter clockwise, five times each side. To ensure the whole calf muscle is properly massaged you should move the roller further down the calf muscle getting closer to the ankle and repeat the clockwise and counter clockwise rotations on each leg five times.
Massage the bottom of your foot using a golf ball. Why a golf ball? Easy to carry and use anywhere you are. Place the ball on the ground, perferably a carpeted surface. Sit in chair with your legs at 90 degress. Place your foot on top of the ball. Slowly roll your foot along the ball. Massage the entire bottom of your foot. Massage the heel, forefoot and arch. As you get comfortable with the technique apply more pressue and focus more energy in the heel area.
Immerse your foot in ice bath twice daily for 10 minutes.
Find a deep enough pail that can hold enough water so you can submerse your foot and half of your lower leg, mid-calf. Make sure the pail is also wide and long enough to accomodate your foot so it can sit flat on the bottom of the pail. Fill the pail a little more then half way with cold water, add a couple of trays of ice cubes. An extra tip, use an empty two litre pop bottle to make the ice. Cut off the top portion of an empty and clean pop bottle, fill with 3/4 with water and put it in the freezer. This makes for a solid chunk of ice to add to your ice bath instead of small ice cubes. Put your foot into the pail for 10 minutes. When completed, refill the bottle and re-freeze.
When is the best time to ice bath? First thing in the morning and at the end of your night before bed.
Purchase a good pair of shoes designed with your support needs. Here at The Edge we specialize in gait analysis and matching you up with the perfect shoe for your foot type. The right shoe for you will help stabilize your foot. Look at it this way, a good main floor in a house needs a solid basement. We should think of this the same way when it comes to our bodies.
Wear your shoes to bed. That is correct! Wear those new shoes to bed for a few to as many as seven days. This was the final piece of the puzzle that helped Canada’s Sylvia Reugger get ready for the 1984 Olympic Games. Sylvia had the worst case of Plantar Fasciitis. Nothing was curing it but after wearing the shoes to bed for a week, Sylvia went on to finish 7th in the marathon and set the Canadian record that held up for more then 30 years. How will it help me? While we sleep the foot will be kept in a flat neutral position. This will aid in the plantar heeling in the correct position. Without the shoe the foot will curl up. The plantar is like an elastic band, when we stand on the foot the band will stretch out. Every morning when we stand the elastic band is being pulled really hard and there are microscopic tears that occur at the heel and/or forefoot. The shoe ensures the the plantar fascia heals in a stretched out position so that when we get up in the morning there is no tearing of the tendon.
For more details and instruction on some of these healing techniques, come see us at Runners’ Edge 111 Fourth Ave, Ridley Plaza, St. Catharines, Ontario. We are here to help!