Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and when you haven’t addressed the root cause, the pain can come back. Repetitive use and tears in the plantar fascia — the tissue that runs along the bottom of each foot — can lead to inflammation and persistent pain, especially in the morning.
Common risk factors of plantar fasciitis include having a job that involves a lot of standing, running long distances regularly, being overweight, and wearing uncomfortable shoes on a daily basis. Plantar fasciitis is affected by lifestyle, so small changes can make a big difference in lessening pain and discomfort.
To help you out, our podiatrist with 39 years of experience, Dr. Errol Gindi, has put together a few tips that may help prevent your plantar fasciitis from returning, allowing you to enjoy life without pain.
1. Switch from running to walking or swimming
Running regularly without enough rest can cause repetitive injuries in the tissues across the bottom of your heel, triggering inflammation and pain. But being overweight is also a risk factor for plantar fasciitis, so instead of giving up exercise altogether, opt for a low-impact form of exercise such as walking.
If you can swim, that’s even better. Swimming burns a lot of calories, and it doesn’t have any negative impact on your feet.
2. Wear a night splint
Ditching high heels and uncomfortable shoes is a given to reduce your heel pain. But did you know that sleeping with your toes pointed can also put stress on the plantar fascia?
A night splint helps keep your entire foot positioned properly, preventing the plantar fascia from becoming stiff and shortened overnight due to sleeping with your toes pointed. As a result, your feet are less likely to cause you pain when walking.
3. Ice and stretch your feet every morning
Icing is an inexpensive and natural way to decrease inflammation. Because a combination of inflammation and stiffness causes plantar fasciitis, ice can help lessen the pain by reducing inflammation in the plantar fascia.
To combat stiffness, you also can stretch the ligaments in each foot daily. Place a round object underneath your foot and roll it back and forth for at least 5 minutes.
Treatment options for stubborn plantar fasciitis
Most cases of plantar fasciitis are manageable with a few lifestyle changes. In some cases, however, making a few tweaks to your everyday life aren’t enough.
Your podiatrist may recommend corticosteroid injections, radial shockwave therapy, radiofrequency nerve ablation, or custom orthotics to treat the issue. In severe cases, surgery is an option as well.
If you live near Valley Stream, New York, and want to explore the most effective, innovative options to treat your plantar fasciitis pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gindi by calling the office or using the online appointment request tool.