An active lifestyle is an important part of being healthy and happy. When you participate in active sports and exercise, your brain produces endorphins, which give you a boost of energy and make you feel fantastic. That's just one benefit of exercising. Of course, exercising burns fat, tones your body, and is linked to longevity. It's no wonder once people start down the path of exercise and sports, they make it part of their daily routine. Exercise and sports becomes an enjoyable habit that is great for you. However, what happens when pain suddenly interrupts your goals for a healthy lifestyle. It's disheartening when pain inhibits you from doing what you love. Plantar fasciiitis is a common cause of heel pain and can put a hamper in your exercise routine. You may try to work through the pain and push yourself, but that is rarely effective. Treating your problem is the only solution to put you back on the track again. How can you ease the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and feel like yourself again? First, let's take a closer look at this painful problem.
Just what is plantar fasciitis?
To understand how plantar fasciitis works, we need to have an understanding of the anatomy of the foot. The feet consist of numerous bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints that are flexible enough to run, jump, stand on tiptoe, and twirl around. Our feet are an amazing part of us that we sometimes take for granted until we need them. Our feet take the brunt of most of the action that the body endures. So, it's not surprising the feet are vulnerable to injury and overuse. Runners often suffer from foot injuries.
Going along the bottom of the foot is a ligament called the plantar fascia. It connects the front of your foot (the toes) with the back of your foot (the heel). Plantar fasciitis occurs whenever this ligament becomes strained. Anytime you strain a muscle or ligament, there can be swelling, inflammation, and pain. The resulting pain can be anywhere from mild to severe. The problem is aggravated because we are constantly putting pressure on our feet. Whether you are involved in sports or live a more sedentary lifestyle, you are probably on your feet often.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The main symptom is pain mostly in the heel of the foot, but it can extend to the entire bottom of your foot. Other symptoms associated with this condition are as follows:
- Sharp pains in the heel of the foot upon arising in the morning.
- Pain subsiding as the day wears on.
- Recurring pain when you've been on your feet for several hours.
- Worsening pain when standing on a hard surface.
Why do I have plantar fasciitis?
While anyone is susceptible to getting plantar fasciitis, certain conditions make a person more prone to developing it. Obviously, if you wear bad shoes with little or no support, you're opening yourself up to a host of foot problems. In addition, if you engage in active sports such as running, your feet endure much more impact than normal. This makes you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Other conditions that can aggravate the feet and lead to this problem are as follows:
- Overpronation: This occurs when your feet roll inward when you walk instead of remaining flat.
- Excess weight on the feet due to being overweight.
- Your arches are uplifted or flat.
How can I ease the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis is a high priority for anyone suffering from this problem. Everyone responds differently to pain relief solutions, so experiment with one or more of the following methods:
1) Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as Motrin, Aleve, or Advil.
2) Reduce the time spent on your feet.
3) Invest in a supportive pair of shoes, if you don't already have a pair, or purchase orthotics.
4) Use a PFTape Plantar Fasciitis pain relief system. This patented system is easy to use and fits any foot size. Simply apply the first wrap flat to the bottom of your foot, then wrap the other piece around the center of your foot for the support and pressure your foot needs. This can be worn comfortably with socks and any type of shoes.
5) Use a combination of ice and heat on your feet at the end of the day. Most people respond to ice best, but alternating between the two can be helpful. In addition, soaking the feet in hot water, followed by very cold water may provide relief as well. Experiment with these different approaches to see what works best for you.
Are there any exercises that can help my feet?
While your feet do need rest, gentle stretching and feet exercises are beneficial if you have plantar fasciitis. Here are some simple exercises you can do anywhere:
Stretches: Since most people have sudden sharp pains first thing in the morning when their feet hit the floor, stretching the foot first will loosen up the tendons. The muscles and ligaments in the feet become tight while you sleep causing the severe pain when first standing on it in the morning. To work out the tightness, simply lie flat on your back with your leg straight in front of you. Next, pull your foot in toward you, then push it away from you. Do this several times before stepping out of bed.
Massage: In the morning, before getting out of bed, take a few minutes to massage the bottom of the feet along the plantar fascia ligament.
Stretch the calf: Often times a tightened calf will put strain on the plantar fasica resulting in plantar fasciitis. Doing calf stretches will loosen the muscles and potentially help the pain. Stand an arm's length away from a wall. Place your palms against the wall with one leg slightly bent in front of the other leg. Next, apply pressure to the wall with the palms of your hands while simultaneously pressing your back leg down and allowing your front leg to bend in a bit. You will feel a pulling in your back leg helping loosen up the calf muscles. Hold for a 30 seconds to a minute, then switch to the other leg.
Toe stretching: Stretch the toes by sitting with your leg extended in front of you. Pull the large toe toward you holding in position for several seconds, then push back the other way. Do this for 2 – 4 times a day.
When will plantar fasciitis go away?
Usually plantar fasciitis begins with gradually increasing pain that eventually levels out and then subsides. How long this takes is different for each person. For most people the condition heals without surgical intervention within a few months. Some people may even find relief in several weeks. According to reports, only 5 out of 100 people resort to surgery for plantar fasciitis.
Suffering with foot pain is challenging. Fortunately, the PFTape Plantar Fasciitis pain relief system makes it possible to continue with your exercise routine. There is no need to curtail your enjoyment of life. With this innovative pain relief wrap, your arch gets the support it needs. Pursue your goals for a fit lifestyle.