If you've been suffering from moderate to severe foot, heel, and ankle pain, you're not alone. Over two million people suffer from a condition called plantar fasciitis, according the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is extreme inflammation of the tissue at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. The result is a stabbing, piercing pain upon walking or standing. If your podiatrist diagnosed you with this type of foot pain, there are several ways in which you can safely recover and begin to feel better when you walk or stand. Here are just few things you'll want to consider to help restore some normalcy back into your daily physical activity.
Get Plenty Of Rest
If you've been spending a lot of time on your feet or doing a specific routine that has caused or exacerbated the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, it's time to give your feet some rest. Staying off your feet or resting frequently throughout the day is one of the best methods to reduce pain and help heal pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue. Soaking your feet in hot water can also help relax muscles and ease pain. If you've been on your feet all day and you are experiencing severe pain and tenderness, you can also apply a cold compress to help reduce inflammation.
Warm Up Before Exercise
It's very important to make sure that your feet and leg muscles are ready for strenuous exercise. Warming up with some basic exercises pre-workout can help reduce a plantar fasciitis flare up. Here are some examples:
- Stretch your calves by bending one leg forward and the other knee straight—hold for 30 seconds, then reverse legs.
- While seated, use the bottom of your foot to roll over an ice cold can or bottle for 60 seconds and repeat with the other foot.
- Sit up and cross one leg over the other. Using your hand, pull your toes forward, then repeat with the other side.
These are just a few tips that you can use right away to help alleviate foot pain and tightness.
Invest In Good Orthotics
Making sure that the shoes you wear don't contribute to plantar fasciitis is important. You can ask your podiatrist to create a unique prescription for you that is specific to the shape of your foot. From there, orthotics can be professionally made and placed into your tennis shoes for maximum support. This will help reduce the pressure the soles of your feet face as you're walking and exercising.
Advanced Treatment Methods
If for some reason, stretching and over-the-counter medications don't help your condition, your podiatrist may suggest corticosteroid shots. This is generally done in the hospital on an outpatient basis. The injections help to alleviate inflammation and help heal your muscles faster. Your doctor may also suggest some form of plantar fasciitis release surgery. This is for severe cases and the recovery time can be lengthy.
Talking to your podiatrist or family doctor is the best way to come up with the right multi-faceted solution for your foot and leg pain issues. Places like Foot First Podiatry Centers may be able to assist you.