Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common heel injuries among athletes who run long distances, people who have flat feet or high arches, and people who are overweight.
Without the proper treatment, the pain and stiffness that you feel in your plantar fascia (the ligament that connects your heel to the ball of your foot) will worsen and turn into a long-term problem.
Our foot and ankle therapists at BIM Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Fort Myers, Florida, know that plantar fasciitis can quickly turn into a serious problem if left untreated. That’s why we are sharing the best treatments for plantar fasciitis:
Switch from High-Impact to Low-Impact Activities
One of the best ways to stop plantar fasciitis in its tracks is to switch from high-impact activities such as running, jumping, or skipping to low or no-impact activities such as using an elliptical, biking, or swimming.
When you replace high-impact exercise with low or no-impact exercise, your plantar fascia can make a speedier recovery. Continue to limit high-impact exercises until you can walk and run without pain.
When you do start to increase your high-impact exercises again, make sure you do so gradually.
Do not jump back into the same routine you were doing before you got injured. Take about three weeks to work back up to where you were before, as long as you don’t feel pain. While working back up to your original exercise routine, you can still perform low or no-impact exercises to maintain strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Sleep with a Night Splint
Investing in a night splint is one of the best ways to tackle plantar fasciitis. A night splint is basically a comfortable boot that you wear to keep your plantar fascia stretched out while you sleep. Most people sleep with their feet pointed down, and the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon become shortened as a result, leading to painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
The night splint will prevent your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon from shortening overnight by keeping your foot pointed upward. You can find great night splints for fasciitis starting at about 20 dollars.
Do the Alphabet Each Morning
A-B-C…no, we don’t mean singing the song (although we won’t judge if you do). What we mean is, move your toes to the shape of each letter in the alphabet each morning before you get out of bed.
Doing the alphabet with your toes each morning strengthens the plantar fascia. Performing this movement, along with the night splint, will make a world of difference in how you feel when you take those first steps out of bed.
Freeze Your Golf Balls
Use your golf balls in a way you never imagined…to treat your plantar fasciitis! Once you freeze a golf ball or two, you will have a perfect tool that acts as massage and cold therapy all-in-one!
Apply even pressure and roll the ball slowly under your foot for 30 seconds in all directions (up & down, clockwise and counterclockwise). It’s important to not start with too much massage too soon, as it can cause further irritation and inflammation in the plantar fascia.
As you start to get used to the massage, you can begin gradually increasing the length of time you massage for, and how many times per day you massage the foot.
Improve Your Footwear
Have you been running in the same sneakers for so long that you can’t remember when you bought them? Do you regularly walk in high-heels or flimsy flip-flops?
It’s time for a change! Your plantar fascia will thank you. Purchasing supportive footwear is a must when you want to get rid of your plantar fasciitis, fast.
Start tallying the mileage on your sneakers. When you’ve run more than 500 miles on your sneakers, it’s time to switch to some new ones. The other types of footwear you wear is just as important as your sneakers.
If you have a great pair of supportive sneakers, it won’t make much of a difference if you are spending most of the day in unsupportive shoes such as heels or sandals.
There are plenty of stylish shoes and sandals that are geared towards people who suffer from plantar fascia and other foot conditions. While these shoes may have a heftier price tag, they’ll save you some medical bills from the various injuries that poor footwear tends to cause. If you already have fairly supportive sneakers or are not ready to say goodbye to your favorite shoes, consider getting orthotics.
Orthotics are inserts you can slip into your shoes to add more support and comfort for your feet. These inserts are hidden inside the shoe, so no one will even know you’re wearing them.
You can purchase orthotics at most sporting goods or footwear stores, or you can look into custom-made orthotics for the maximum support.
Take the headache out of plantar fasciitis treatment by seeing a foot and ankle physical therapist. Physical therapy is the number one way to treat plantar fasciitis. Your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan to get rid of your plantar fasciitis for good.
You will learn the best stretching, strengthening, and mobility exercises to knock out that plantar fasciitis permanently.
The best physical therapists can also perform manual techniques, such as myofascial release, to break up tight muscle tissue and provide natural and fast-acting relief.
Here’s a Quick & Easy Way to Feel Relief, Fast
Our team of skilled foot and ankle physical therapists at Bank In Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Fort Myers, Florida, will provide you with the safest and most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis.
Our physical therapists practice the Gray Method TM, a groundbreaking method of treatment that heals your condition by fixing the underlying causes. The Gray Method TM is an advanced method of treatment that is unique to our clinic and cannot be practiced anywhere else in the world!