The foot is a complicated piece of anatomy composed of small bones, tendons and ligaments. These structures support your weight throughout the day as you engage in regular activities. The stress increases when you are involved in more challenging exercises like running. It is no wonder that foot pain is such a common complaint as people age.
Foot pain can stem from many different issues, and it takes a medical professional to determine the exact cause. However, plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequent sources of pain in the foot, especially the heel. If you have been diagnosed or suspect you have this condition, you may be wondering how to treat plantar fasciitis pain in the heel.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs between your heel and toes. It creates the arch of your foot and acts as a shock absorber with every step you take. When the strain becomes too great, small tears in the tissue lead to inflammation and stiffness. Several factors contribute to the onset of this condition.
As your body ages, it becomes more difficult for the plantar fascia to carry out its function. Most cases of plantar fasciitis begin between the ages of 40 and 60. Additional stresses like weight gain or repetitive exercises can also inflame the tissue.
The elasticity of the plantar fascia allows it to absorb stress that could cause damage to the ankles, knees and hips. When you go to bed, the hours without stress allow the band to contract. During the first steps of the day, the band stretches once again.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience sharp heel pain when you first get out of bed. The pain will become more bearable when the band stretches as you walk around. Transitions from sitting to standing may also trigger some heel pain. For most people, the pain lessens during exercise and other movements. The easing of pain during motion is a challenge because rest is often the best treatment for heel plantar fasciitis.
The reasons that someone develops this condition are not always clear. However, there are steps you can take to lower the risk of heel pain.
Excess weight puts extra strain on the whole body, and the plantar fascia is the first point of contact. People tend to gain weight as they age, and this trend may contribute to the average age of onset for plantar fasciitis. Managing your weight brings several health benefits including a lower risk of heel pain. As you consider ways to lose weight, focusing on your diet before increasing your exercise routine can prevent strain.
It is not unusual for middle-aged people to attempt to exercise as though they were still in high school. Trying to run a 10K race after years of sitting behind a desk can lead to injuries. A gradual increase in mileage and intensity will allow your body to adapt and stay healthy.
Choosing the right equipment for your feet will go a long way in preventing plantar fasciitis. If your fitness plan includes long-distance running, work with a shoe store that specializes in fitting shoes properly. Products like Tuli’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles and Heel Cups provide extra support and cushioning to prevent tissue inflammation.
How do you treat heel pain from plantar fasciitis? This condition stems from inflammation, so many of the initial treatments are common to other stress-related injuries.
The best plantar fasciitis heel pain treatment is the one that is often most difficult to follow, rest. Typically, the tissue inflammation begins gradually. You may notice tightness in your foot when you get up in the morning. This sign should tell you to pull back from exercise and let your tissue heal. If you have developed some heel pain, icing the area is another way to provide relief. The cold temperature shrinks the inflammation and promotes healing.
Over-the-counter pain relievers are another common treatment for plantar fasciitis. These medications reduce the swelling that causes discomfort. However, it is important to use pain relievers as a complementary treatment along with rest. Treating the symptom without addressing the underlying cause can lead to a chronic condition.
Shoe insoles designed for plantar fasciitis relief are especially helpful for people who have jobs that require them to stand. For example, Tuli’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles provide extra cushioning and support that evenly distributes the downward forces of your bodyweight. An angled heel cushion reduces pronation and absorbs the force of impact with each step.
How do you treat heel pain from plantar fasciitis? When the condition arises, the tissue band becomes stiff. Exercises that stretch the plantar fascia, the Achilles tendon and calf muscles can go a long way in relieving and preventing the pain. You can do several types of plantar fasciitis stretches on your own. However, equipment is available that can make your exercises more effective. The ProStretch Plus device is perfect for stretching out the foot and lower leg while maintaining proper alignment. Regular use will give you the flexibility you need to reduce your risk of chronic injuries.
If your heel pain does not resolve with rest and stretching, you may need a more intense treatment for heel plantar fasciitis. A medical professional will take an in-depth look at your plantar fascia to determine the next steps.
If the inflammation is severe, your body may not respond to standard anti-inflammatory pain relievers. In this case, a doctor may suggest an injection of corticosteroids. The steroid shot does not cure plantar fasciitis, but it can relieve the pain and swelling while your body heals.
Chronic plantar fasciitis cases may require an invasive plantar fasciitis heel pain treatment. The standard surgery is a short, endoscopic procedure. Incisions on either side of the heel allow the surgeon to cut the plantar fascia to relieve tension. As a result, the tissue will lengthen and have room to heal.
If you are wondering how to treat plantar fasciitis pain in the heel, this condition is not something to ignore. Taking proactive steps like rest, stretching and wearing additional foot support will help your body recover before plantar fasciitis becomes a chronic condition.
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PLEASE NOTE: The information on this website and article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for consulting your doctor. Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation