Calling all runners, dancers, athletes and everyone in between! Are you experiencing heel pain? Do you roll out of bed in the morning and feel like your walking on shards of glass? If so you are likely experiencing the ever so common condition of plantar fasciitis. This pain is caused by irritation at the origin of the plantar fascia to the calcaneal tuberosity (heel bone). Repetitive activities like running, sports or even just your daily work routine can cause these lightning bolts to appear on the bottom of your feet. Besides overuse this condition can come about from tight calves, excessive pronation of the foot, lack of ankle dorsiflexion and the list goes on. Now lets get this pain taken care of! The following list includes things you can be doing at home to help decrease your symptoms.
- Towel stretches: Before getting out of bed in the morning we want to stretch the plantar and calf muscles. A great way to do this is to wrap a towel around the bottom of your mid foot and apply pressure by pulling the towel towards your body. This stretch is a double whammy because you are tackling the plantar and calf muscle tightness at the same time!
- Lacrosse ball massage: Before you make a mad dash for your morning cup of coffee, we have a little more work to do. Take a lacrosse ball and put it on the floor next to your bed. You can now use the ball to start rolling out the muscles on the bottom of the foot. By loosening up these muscles you are decreasing the tension on the plantar fascia and your heels will very happy with you.
- Foam rolling the calves: The calves are also attached to the calcaneus (heel bone) which can cause an increase in the tension and pain your feeling. Rolling the calves out allows for a greater range of motion in the ankle. When rolling out, be sure to work the entire muscle all the way from the knee to the achilles’ tendon.
- Calf stretches: These stretches are important to do several times throughout the day. Find a spot against the wall and spread the feet apart, one in front of the other. Now with the back leg straight lean into the wall making sure to keep the heel on the ground. Now try this stretch with the knee slightly bent. It is important to do both of these variations as each targets a different calf muscle. These different positions stretch the gastrocnemius and soleus respectively.
- Ice cup massage: Massage the the heel and plantar aspect of the foot with a frozen ice cup. This decreases inflammation and helps to speed up the healing process. These are good to do at the end of the day or if you have a break from moving around for a little while. The plantar muscles will be slightly shortened and less elastic right after your done, so be sure to allow yourself a little bit of time for your foot to warm back up before moving around.
Not satisfied with the results your getting on your own? Want to get a jumpstart on your path to being pain free? Plantar fasciitis is a condition we see quite often with great results from our treatment protocols. Set up an appointment today to see what we can do for you!
Content provided by Dr. Milton Brinza