A Simple Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

It's not just for runners

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, the right stretching exercises can reduce your pain and improve your recovery time so you can get back to running in less time than your doctor may have told you.  Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the fascia (a thick bundle of tissues on the bottom of the foot that connect the heel to the toes) becomes bruised and sore.  There is limited bloodflow to this area, so recovery time can be incredibly lengthy.  

Caring for Plantar FasciitisCredit: wikipediaLike most injuries, avoiding use of the affected area is best, although it can be hard to not use your feet.  Follow these simple tips to speed up your recovery and ease the pain during recovery.

1. First thing in the morning, perform this stretch:

Sit up and cross your legs, setting the ankle of the affected foot on the knee of the other leg.  Grab the toes of the sore foot and pull them toward you. This will stretch out the fascia.  Hold this stretch for five minutes.

2. During the day:

Standing on a step, put the ball of your sore foot on the edge and let your heel hang down.  Hold on to the railing.  Hold this stretch for one minute.  If that's too painful, repeat the stretch from step 1.

3. Massage with ice

Lay a can of frozen juice on the floor and roll your bare foot over it for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day.  This will increase blood flow to the area and help break down damaged tissue from the inflammation.  

4. Medicate lightly

Take a non-steroidal inflammaroty drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen to alleviate the pain.  All over-the-counter medicines for pain treatment that are NSAIDs will say so on the label.  Take this before the pain sets in for best results.

5. Use heel pads

Visit your local drugstore or search on amazon for heel inserts.  These are cushy pads that you insert in the heel of your shoe.  Put them in both feet for maximum pain prevention.  

To further prevent plantar fasciitis, make sure you wear the right kind of shoes for running and for walking around the office.  Stilettos are great for weddings and other parties, but not for everyday wear.  Even if you're not a runner, visit your local running specialty store for custom advice and orthotic inserts (custom-molded inserts for your feet).  Do these stretches every day for maximum relief, even when not bothered by the pain, and you'll notice a remarkable improvement in the way your feet feel.  Ciao!

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