If you are experiencing heel pain that gets worse when you stand or walk, you may have plantar fasciitis. In fact, about two million people in the United States alone struggle with the condition. Plantar fasciitis occurs due to increased inflammation in the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissues across the soles of your feet. The role of the plantar fascia is to connect the base of the toes to the heel bone (also known as the calcaneus).
This article will discuss the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, how people develop the condition, and how to holistically heal from plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms and Causes
Plantar fasciitis can be particularly difficult for people who must stay on their feet for long hours each day. For instance, certain professional athletes, caterers, and waiters may all experience more intense symptoms. When individuals with plantar fasciitis walk, run, or exercise for long stretches, the plantar fascia loses its elasticity and becomes irritated. This irritation leads to inflammation and pain.
Other possible causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- The shape or structure of your foot
- The type and size of your shoes (if they are too big or too small)
- The surfaces that you walk, run, or stand on (blacktop, grass, etc.)
- Your age and weight
- A sudden increase in physical activity level
- In rare cases, due to rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
Plantar fasciitis symptoms may vary slightly depending on the individual. The main and most pervasive symptom is heel pain. Other symptoms include:
- Dull aching in the foot
- Stabbing sensations in the foot
- Stiffness when resting the foot
- Experiencing intensified symptoms in the morning or after sitting for long stretches of time
- Increased pain going up and down stairs
- Increased pain when exercising or playing sports
Plantar Fasciitis Stretches
Living with plantar fasciitis can be frustrating. Thankfully, there are natural and holistic ways to manage the symptoms. One great way to treat this condition is to develop a daily stretching practice. Here are some great plantar fasciitis stretches to help manage your pain.
One of the most common plantar fasciitis stretches is heel raises. This can be done by standing on the balls of your feet at the edge of a stair or step. Your heels should be hanging off the edge. From there, you raise your feet in the air until you reach your tippy toes.
Repeat this 10 times, rest, then do one more set of 10. You will most likely feel a strong stretch in your calf muscles while doing heel raises.
Plantar Fascia Massage
For this stretch, you will use a tennis ball or frozen water bottle. Start by gently rolling the water bottle or ball back and forth under your foot. Start at the ball of your foot and move all the way to the heel. Do two sets of 10, resting in between each set. If this causes you any pain, be sure to slow down and be more gentle.
Toe Towel Scrunches (Seated)
To do seated toe towel scrunches, start by sitting upright with good posture in your chair. Place your foot on a towel and spread your toes. Curl your toes until you scrunch the towel towards your body. Do this once a day, two sets of 10. Be sure to rest in between each set.
Calf Stretches (Facing the Wall)
Stretching your calves can help to alleviate some of the stress on your plantar fascia. Wall-facing calf stretches are a great tool. Start by getting on your feet and facing the wall, roughly an arm’s length away. Place your hands flat against the wall, keeping your feet balanced and flat on the floor. From there, extend one of your legs backward and lean forward (both legs are still on the ground). You should feel a calf stretch, particularly in your back leg. You can hold this for 20 seconds, repeating three times with each leg.
Seek Plantar Fasciitis Treatment at Diablo Foot & Ankle Today
Are you struggling with plantar fasciitis? Are you unable to manage the pain on your own? Diablo Foot & Ankle is here to help! Our Walnut Creek Board-Certified Podiatrists wiill guide you through a holistic approach toward healing your plantar fasciitis.
Are you ready to take the next step? Contact Diablo Foot & Ankle today!
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.