Plantar Fasciitis is a tightening of these muscles that run from your toes to your heel, where they attach by a tendon.
Often when you wake in the morning you have to walk gingerly because there is so much pain in your feet. As you move around, the muscles warm up and the symptoms decrease. As you become less active or wake the next day the muscle will have cooled and retightened.
Over time, due to stress, the body deposits calcium in the tendon to strengthen this region, where it attaches to your heel, and can create heel spurs. You need to break this cycle now.
What are some causes of Plantar Fasciitis?
- Muscle tightness in the Achilles tendon and/or the plantar muscles.
- Bad shoes.
- Wearing the wrong shoes for the task at “foot.”
- Improper foot alignment
- Sudden weight gain
- Poor arch support or Flat Feet
Things to do to help avoid this problem:
- Invest in new shoes. Shoes wear down visibly but physically, before you see the signs. Especially if you exercise a lot in them. Bottom line is you want good support.
- Switch shoes each day or every other. That will force your feet to adapt to different soles.
- Have the right footwear for the activity. Don’t play basketball in work boots or run in boat shoes because you forgot the appropriate foot gear.
- Pick decent shoes not just fashionable ones. I treated the lead singer of a band and he told me he was feeling spasms and pain in his calf. I looked at his feet and he had those non-supportive, Converse sneakers on. I hate those.
- Runners can try to run on various surfaces to change it up. Rubberized tracks, the woods, treadmill or the opposite direction on the road to change the effect of the crowned road on your body.
- Try massage. Relax your foot muscles with massage or work the bottom of your feet with the knuckles of your hand or your thumb. Manual pressure to remove these is called trigger point therapy, which increases circulation and helps break up these knots.
- Try Chiropractic. The approach is to work on the muscles of your feet to break up adhesions in the muscles but also adjust the bones they are attached to. If you have a muscular problem you HAVE to address the bones the muscles are connected to or you will keep having the same issue.
- Chiropractic and physical therapy could also use an ultrasound machine to provide deep heat to relax the muscles and possibly breakup calcium deposits in the heel spur.
- Roll your plantar muscles on a golf ball in a tub of warm water.
- Freeze water in a small plastic bottle and roll on that
- Get orthotics to help better support your feet in your shoes. Just supporting it will not remove years of abuse on your feet. They need some attention.
Working on this area isn’t super comfortable but sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. The longer you let plantar fasciitis go, the worse it will get. So start now.
To stretch the Achilles tendon you could stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Allow your heel to lower. That should stretch the back of your lower leg. To stretch the plantar muscle out your toes against the base of the wall and place the rest of your foot on the floor. The wall will push your toes back and stretch the underside muscles of the plantar region.
Something you could try to strengthen your plantar muscles is to squeeze marbles or a pencil with your toes and try to bring it toward you. You can even pull your toes in while you have shoes on. Just curl your toes and that will help recreate the arch of the foot.
For all your foot problems, see The Podiatrist