The feeling of the incessant pain in the arch of your foot isn’t easy to ignore. If you are on your feet a lot, you could soon feel the pain from plantar fasciitis.
Don’t just cope with the symptoms of arch pain, or wish them away on their own. We’ll discuss some self-treatment options as well as different types of equipment that could help, and the pros and cons of each one.
Self-Treatment Ideas for Plantar Fasciitis Relief
Here are some tips and tricks that can help with heel pain relief for you to do at home yourself.
If you’re looking for a solution that you can start right away without purchasing anything try the following.
Try foot stretches when you wake up in the morning or before exercising.
Ever wonder why the pain comes back right when you wake up in the morning? It’s probably because your feet haven’t moved all night, leaving the muscles cold with a lack of blood flow.
Many people also feel this pain after a workout, because of the heavy impact to your feet during exercise. To avoid it, you should stretch properly for 30 minutes prior to exercising. Stretching warms up the muscles in your feet, making them more malleable and less likely to become inflamed.
Icing has always been known to reduce swelling. Try icing regularly at the end of your day, when you are winding down in front of the TV or in your living room.
Adjusting your strides
Many runners suffer from plantar fasciitis, and it’s no coincidence. This is because of a combination of improper form and too much mileage without enough rest.
A good way to prevent plantar fasciitis while running is to shorten your strides. This will decrease the amount of impact on your heel.
Additionally, try to land on the front of your foot (instead of your heel). Then, transition the weight to the ball of your foot and towards the back.
Obese people are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis because their extra weight puts more pressure on the tissue while standing and walking, causing inflammation. Losing excess weight could relieve some of the pressure to your feet over the course of the day.
Since plantar fasciitis can be caused by overuse, proper rest gives the inflamed tissue time to heal. Give your feet a break by spending some time relaxing. If your exercise routine contains a lot of leg work, try transitioning to activities that reduce foot impact such as upper body exercises or swimming.
A massage from a physical therapist can help; however, this will only bring temporary relief and can be expensive.
Plantar Fasciitis Equipment
There are many products out there designed to ease or cure plantar fasciitis. Different users have their own unique experiences with them.
The goal of night splints is to keep your feet at a 90°angle so they stay stretched throughout the night.
When you’re sleeping, your feet naturally point down. This causes the plantar fascia (the muscles that stretch across the bottom of your foot) to shorten, which increases your chances of bone spurs when the foot is already experiencing inflammation.
Night splits keep the foot stretched while sleeping, allowing the the plantar fascia to stretch out, which keeps it warm and loose and making it less likely to hurt upon waking up. This is designed to addresses the common symptom of waking up to heel pain.
Although this sounds like a great option, it can be uncomfortable when trying to sleep. Having something so cumbersome on your foot can keep you up.
Special Shoes and Insoles
The goal of most special shoes and insoles for plantar fasciitis is usually to provide extra arch support.
Specialized shoes can be designed to provide general foot support, or there can be custom-made options which are designed for the specific measurements and curves of your foot.
Insoles are special or custom-made soles (the pad underneath the foot), which are designed to be placed inside your shoes to provide additional or customized foot support.
Supportive shoes and insoles made for general distribution may offer some relief, but may not be suited to your type of foot.
There are hundreds of different materials marketed to provide support on a wide scale.
However, everyone has different foot shapes that cause their discomfort (e.g. high arch, flat-footed, wide feet, etc.), so different products could be hit-or-miss. Often these commercial products provide relief that’s only temporary, if any at all.
Customized shoes and insoles (those which are measured and constructed for your own feet) are usually quite expensive, since they require technology and specialized machinery to develop.
Moreover, once you find a customized solution that works, it’s likely that you will have to continue to purchase the expensive products for the long term as most of us spend so much of our days on our feet.
Compression socks are similar to custom shoes and insoles in that they attempt to give your heel extra support and correct pain caused by your foot arch.
Though compression socks aren’t made specifically for plantar fasciitis, people have reported that they provide a bit of relief when they’re off their feet. They don’t fix the condition itself, and they don’t usually make a difference while you’re on your feet.
While there aren’t any massage machines made particularly for plantar fasciitis, people often turn to them as a solution. This can be dangerous since it’s not a human giving the massage and people often use them for too long. Massaging the plantar fascia for a long period of time can actually lead to more pain and inflammation.
Overall, when it comes to treating plantar fasciitis, there are so many options out there.
Many companies have created retail products available to the general public marketed towards foot pain generally.
There are also custom options available, which can come at a high cost. We have also listed out some self-care options that you can add to your foot care routine. You can also consider maintaining proper foot health with a supplement like StepStrong.
As always, it’s best to consult a doctor to determine the severity and identify the proper treatment for you.