Commonly referred to as joggers’ heel or tennis heel, plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that can cause tremendous pain. The band of tissue running along the bottom of your foot that supports the arch is called the plantar fascia. The tissue is made up of collagen, and after years of activity, it can degenerate and cause tears. It can then become stiff, irritable, or inflamed. But thankfully, there are tips you can use to relieve the nagging pain.
Wear Supportive Footwear
Wearing improper shoes is one cause of plantar fasciitis. So, it makes sense that one of the best solutions is wearing the right footwear. The right pair of shoes can reduce the pain you experience and speed up your recovery. For example, a pair of shoes designed for plantar fasciitis sufferers can gently stretch the plantar fascia. When your foot pushes off the ground, the sole sways so that the tension is reduced. And when your foot hits the ground again, the shoe’s compressible heel and raised arch will absorb your body weight. Many companies also provide sandals for plantar fasciitis. The best ones help you avoid straining your feet and provide excellent support to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Strengthen Your Arches
One of the best ways of achieving long-term relief from plantar fasciitis is to strengthen your arches. There are several exercises you can do to strengthen the arch. For instance, you can sit in a chair with a towel on the floor in front of you and then grab the towel with your toes and pull it slowly towards you until you feel a gentle stretch in your arch. Another good exercise involves standing with your back against a wall. Keep your back leg straight and your heel touching the floor. Then rock your hips in a forward motion until you can feel a stretch in your calf. When you feel it, hold the position for about half a minute and then switch legs. For maximum relief, do those exercises two or three times a day.
Gradually Increase Physical Exercise
It is still possible to work out when you have plantar fasciitis, but you may have to adjust what you do. Avoid any exercises that involve your heel striking. If you enjoy running, you can still jog with plantar fasciitis, but you should slow down your pace. For other workout routines, you will want to reduce the intensity. Low-impact exercises like swimming and yoga are also excellent for relieving the pain of plantar fasciitis over time.
Regularly Rest and Ice Your Feet
Although gentle exercise can do wonders for relieving the pain of plantar fasciitis, it is also important to rest your feet regularly. To reduce the symptoms further, you should put ice on your feet regularly. Placing ice on the affected area helps to constrict blood vessels, which slows down the rush of blood to your feet that contributes to the pain. However, do not put ice on the area for more than 20 minutes at a time, as too much ice can have an adverse effect by numbing the tissue and causing tissue damage.