Plantar fasciitis occurs when the soft tissue along the bottom of your foot connecting your heel to your toes becomes inflamed.
When you experience plantar fasciitis pain, you'll know it right away. It is an intense, stabbing pain that occurs along your heel or your arch.
Thankfully, there are ways to tackle plantar fasciitis at home. Here are five ways to ease the inflammation and walk a little lighter.
1. Rest and Elevate
The best thing you can do if you suffer from plantar fasciitis is to use the magical cure known as rest.
Staying off your foot is important because the inflammation won't go down if you keep walking around on it.
When resting, put your foot up to elevate it for around half an hour at a time. Elevation will help reduce the swelling caused by inflammation.
2. Ice Your Feet
If your plantar fasciitis is new, you can ice them to help with both the pain and inflammation. It's usually enough to ice them as often as three or four times a day for short 15-minute intervals.
Keep in mind that if your plantar fasciitis pain is chronic, then icing won't necessarily help beyond numbing. Chronic pain is often a sign of degeneration of the fascia, not inflammation.
3. Use Orthotic Inserts
Poor-fitting shoes are among the most common causes of plantar fasciitis. However, once you have it, it's not as simple as finding a new pair. You'll need extra support to reduce the inflammation. That's where orthotics come in.
Orthotic inserts give you extra cushion and support, which put less pressure on your foot and make walking less painful. You don't need custom orthotics for this condition. Off-the-shelf options will usually do the trick.
4. Wear a Night Splint
Most people don't sleep in a position that stretches or supports their plantar fascia. In fact, the way your feet point during the night usually shortens it.
Night splints can keep your foot at the appropriate 90-degree angle while you sleep. They provide a constant stretch throughout the night, which helps you manage the pain.
Can't stand the night splint? Make sure your sheets and blankets are untucked to keep your feet in an unpointed posture.
5. Try Foot and Calf Stretches
While muscle tightness doesn't cause plantar fasciitis, it can exacerbate the pain. Doing some calf stretches and other plantar fasciitis exercises in your feet can help lessen the pain and keep you more comfortable as you rest.
Your podiatrist or general physician can provide you with tips. You can also use this resource from the Cleveland Clinic to guide you through some simple stretches for plantar fasciitis.
Small Steps Can Manage Your Plantar Fasciitis Pain
Plantar fasciitis pain is the product of inflammation in your foot. It can be unbearable when it flares up, but there are ways to cope with it at home.
Remember that protecting your feet is an important part of caring for your overall health, especially as you age. If you're still wearing a pair of well-worn shoes, then it may be time to find a new, well-fitting pair to help you avoid heel pain in the future!
Are you on the hunt for shoe inserts that will fit any of your shoes, including boots? If so, then click here to learn about the DynaFlange range of shock-absorbing orthotics.