Free Report: 5 Tips to Address Plantar Fasciitis

     Do you have the summertime running blues? Have you been unable to lace up your running shoes for a jog because within the first five minutes the pain in your heel becomes unbearable? Your first steps in the morning or after sitting for awhile will cause a stab of pain too! Well, this report is written for you! Here are five easy ways to start addressing your plantar fasciitis and start feeling better today!

1. Stretch your calves

    If your calves are tight this places excess stress on the origin of the plantar fascia at the heel. When assessing your own calf flexibility you can check by doing a downward dog. If you get your heels to touch the ground, then that’s great! However, the majority of folks cannot and this is due to calf tightness. If you felt restriction, then you can start by pulling out a foam roller and watching the first video. Then watch the second video, and perform the downward walking dog and downward dog stretch. Both of these will help the tightness. These are two quick and easy ways to accomplish better calf flexibility.

2. Roll out the bottom of your foot

    The tissue on the bottom of the foot can become tight and restricted, leading to plantar fasciitis when it starts to break down. This can also be compounded by wearing tight shoes that don’t allow your toes to spread out. In order for the foot to function as it was intended, the toes need to spread out. If you wear tight dress shoes for work, then make sure you counteract that time by going barefoot around your house. It’s a myth that walking barefoot will make your heel pain worse. Your foot was designed to be barefoot and it’s most happy in this environment. Poor shoe selection will amplify the pain from plantar fasciitis. Perform a self assessment and try to spread your toes apart. If you feel tight and restricted in the foot you will benefit from using a ball to roll it out. I suggest a golf ball or Lacrosse ball. If you don’t have one at home right now a temporary solution is to freeze a water bottle and use that to roll out the foot. Spend 2-3 minutes once a day, starting with light pressure and going heavier as symptoms allow. With consistency the foot softens, movements feels less restricted, and pain reduces.

3. Self massage to the plantar fascia origin at the heel

        The origin of the plantar fascia is right on the inside of the heel before the arch of the foot. Plantar fascia tissue is very strong and fibrous, but it does not have great blood supply. You are helping the tissue get healthy again by massaging it. As you put pressure on this area, it is likely painful. As you keep sustained pressure on the location of pain, it will start to ease. As it eases, slightly move side to side across that location maintaining the firm pressure. You are trying to create more blood flow in that area and it will start to become pink. This is good! Blood flow equals healing. Stay within your pain tolerance. This should not be sharp, but uncomfortable, and symptoms will ease as you go along. Spend 2-3 minutes doing this before testing it out by walking. Check to see if you feel better, worse, or the same. If it is worse, and does not improve, you should phone a professional to help you. A local Physical Therapist will be able to solve it for you. If it feels better, excellent, you’re on the right track.

4. Ice for pain relief. No more than 10 minutes

        Freezing the heel with ice for ten minutes or less will reduce the level of pain that you are feeling. Make sure to allow the tissue to fully warm up before icing it again. Ice constricts blood flow to the area which is good for pain relief, but not good for the long term. Since blood flow leads to healthy tissue, make sure the area warms again after icing to allow for fresh blood flow to the area. The contrast in heat and ice allows for the pumping of fresh blood flow to the area and removal of waste products out of the area.

5. Perform nerve glides or "flossing"

    One strategy I have found successful for clients with heel pain is to perform nerve glides. There are a few nerves that branch in the area of the plantar fascia and can become irritated when the tissue is irritated. Nerve glides provide a way for the pain to lessen in severity and ease your pain. Refer to the video link to follow how to perform nerve glides or “flossing.” You never want to hold a nerve stretch but fluidly move in and out of the position. Perform this once daily and watch how pain and tension reduces.

     Did you find these helpful? Send us an email telling us about your success story! If you are still having difficulty, contact a local Physical Therapist or give us a call. These are tips that you can accomplish on your own and if you are still hurting, then you need a skilled professional to get to the root of the issue. These tips are by no means comprehensive. If you have not been given a specific diagnosis then you may have something other than plantar fasciitis going on that needs a different type of treatment. Diagnostic work is best done by a professional.

Kristin Sykes