If your first steps out of bed in the morning result in severe foot pain in the sole or heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the fibrous band of tissue connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes – called the plantar fascia –becomes inflamed. This usually is caused by overuse, especially in people who walk and run as their main form of exercise. You’re also more likely to develop the condition if you have a job that requires a lot of standing on hard surfaces, you have flat feet, or your feet excessively roll inward when you walk and run (also called over-pronation) as a result of foot misalignment. The good news is there are ways to ease your foot pain starting with stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis.
Stretching is the best treatment you can do on your own for plantar fasciitis, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. Some common stretches are detailed below.
Stretch #1: Lean forward in a lunge position with your palms holding you up against a wall, with the back leg straight, the heel on the ground, and the other leg bent at the knee. Hold for 30 seconds, then relax and straighten up. Repeat on opposite side. You should feel a stretch in your heel, foot and calf as you lean.
Stretch #2: Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. Reach over and grab your toes if you can and gently pull them toward you until you feel the stretch in the arch of your foot.
Stretch #3: Place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes, and pull it toward you. Repeat as necessary.
See examples of the stretches here.
Besides stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis, other conservative treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Over-the-counter or custom shoe inserts
- Changing to different footwear
- Limiting physical activity
- Applying an ice pack
While these home treatments that you can do on your own may help relieve the pain, there is something even better that you can do to eliminate the pain.
There is a treatment called HyProCure® available that corrects the misalignment in your foot causing the over-pronation and faulty foot structure that leads to plantar fasciitis. HyProCure® places a small titanium stent into the naturally occurring space between the ankle bone and heel bone and realigns the foot by stabilizing the ankle bone on the heel bone and correcting the excessive inward rotation.
If not treated, plantar fasciitis can become a chronic condition and start causing you pain in other areas of your body. If you’re experiencing foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis or a number of other common foot problems, ask a qualified podiatrist about HyProCure®.
If you’re in the New York area contact a podiatrist at Adler Footcare for a free foot assessment. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.