You want to begin your day on the right foot, which can be quite difficult when your feet cry out in pain when you take your first steps in the morning. This hallmark of plantar fasciitis typically dissipates after you move around a little, but you’d rather not start your day that way in the first place.
Plantar fasciitis at a glance
If you want to tackle your plantar fasciitis on your own, it’s important that you have a good understanding about what’s causing the pain.
Your plantar fascia is a band of taut tissue that runs from your heels to the balls of your feet, providing support for your arches along the way. When you develop plantar fasciitis, the tissue becomes inflamed — usually due to being overstressed.
The inflammation is your body’s response to weakened or damaged tissue and is an effort to protect the tissue. Unfortunately, the inflammation causes the plantar fascia to tighten, especially when it’s not in use, such as when you’re asleep or inactive for long periods.
Then, when you take your first steps, you’re asking the tissue to stretch out again quite suddenly, and the result is often searing pain. Eventually, your plantar fascia does stretch out, but it may take a few painful minutes.
Tips to relieve plantar fasciitis at home
Each year in the United States, two million people seek treatment for plantar fasciitis. If you want to first try to remedy the problem at home, there are a few steps you can take, including:
- Wear night splints that stretch your plantar fascia while you sleep
- Take it easy on your feet for a few days to allow your plantar fascia to heal
- Use ice packs for 20 minutes, several times a day, to reduce inflammation
- Massage the bottoms of your feet or roll them over a ball or can
- Use custom orthotics to better balance your feet and support your arches
While these measures can certainly help to relieve your plantar fasciitis, stretching exercises are the most important step you can take to relieve plantar fasciitis pain.
Some targeted plantar fasciitis exercises include:
Place your hands on a wall and extend one leg behind you. Now bed the front leg to stretch out the calf muscles in the back leg. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat several times on each side.
Sit on a chair and place a towel below one of your feet. Now use the toes on that foot to scrunch the towel in the middle. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times on each foot. (You can also try picking up a marble or small object with each of your toes.)
While you’re seated at your desk or in front of the TV, try some toe raises. Place both feet on the floor and then extend one leg out in front of you and rest it on the floor. Now, draw your toes toward your body so that you feel a stretch across the soles of your feet and in your calves.
Between these exercises and the other tips we mention above, you should be able to significantly improve your plantar fasciitis pain. If these tips don’t work, we urge you to come see us so we can provide you with more aggressive plantar fasciitis treatments, such as Tenjet, platelet-rich plasma therapy, or lipogems adipose/fat therapy.
To schedule your plantar fasciitis treatment, contact one of our offices in West Orange or Westfield, New Jersey, to set up an appointment..