Plantar fasciitis (PF) is as difficult to live with as it is to treat. Anyone who has felt the pain of plantar fasciitis knows how debilitating it can be. Effective treatment needs to be done daily – the good news is that most of that treatment can be done at home. In most of the cases of plantar fasciitis that I have seen in my San Diego chiropractic office the pain associated with this condition comes from a number of different areas that include muscles in the calf as well as the plantar fascia itself.
What to do About Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain in the heal, pain with walking, significant pain with taking those first few steps in the morning and lower back pain (typically due to the stress of limping / gait changes that are common with PF). As someone with a history of dealing with this condition, I know how demoralizing it can be – foot pain can make even slow paced strolls painful and exercise nearly impossible.
So how do you beat plantar fasciitis? The first step is to try to eliminate the stress on your foot. I have never heard of someone successfully “working through the pain” of PF. In order to reduce the stress on my foot I did the following:
- I rode my bike instead of walking – even if it was a short distance.
- I bought gel heal cups for my shoes and wore them every time my foot went into a shoe.
- I tried really hard to slow down when I would walk and I tried to walk as normal as possible.
These efforts to reduce stress helped somewhat but I also combined them with daily active therapy that included:
- Icing the bottom of my foot in 20 minute sessions every chance I had. Normally 3 or 4 times each day.
- Rolling a tennis ball or golf ball around the bottom of my foot between the based of my toes and the front of my heal.
- I did daily deep massage on my calf. Digging the knots out helps take stress off the plantar fascia. This should only take a few minutes and it should not be painful.
- I used a “DorsiWedge” soft boot at night – every night for about 3 months. This greatly reduced the pain I felt in the mornings.
- I stretched my calf everyday for one minute at a time several times each day.
Since I have access to therapy at my office I also used ultrasound, electric stimulation and hot packs at least three times weekly.
This combination has provided long term relief for me. In fact, currently I am in my fifth consecutive month with no symptoms – and it is wonderful. Walking without pain is definitely something that I took for granted before plantar fasciitis became a part of my life. Unfortunately once you have plantar fasciitis your chances of a re-occurrence are high, so you have to be on the watch for the slightest return of symptoms and start working on them immediately. If you need help overcoming plantar fasciitis call my office – we would be happy to help.