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What Not to Do With Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Eman Elmi
January 7, 2023
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Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. 1 in every 10 people experience it in their lifetime. While plantar fasciitis is treatable, it can cause severe discomfort which can impact someone’s quality of life.

Plantar fasciitis is highly treatable by making simple lifestyle adjustments, such as stretching, icing, and resting the foot. However, there are some mistakes that can cause plantar fasciitis to worsen. Even if you’re pursuing treatment methods, these factors can slow down your recovery time. If you’re seeking relief from the pain, here’s what not to do with plantar fasciitis. 

What is Plantar Fasciitis? 

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the plantar fascia, the tissue which connects the heel bone to the toes. This most often occurs during periods of high stress or tension on the foot. Most commonly, plantar fasciitis is a result of increased physical activity in athletes. However, other factors such as prolonged standing, poorly-fitting shoes, foot structure, and carrying heavy weight can cause plantar fasciitis.

Most commonly, pain from plantar fasciitis will begin gradually near the heel. The pain will usually grow worse over time, especially early in the morning or following intense activity. The pain is typically described as a stabbing sensation in the bottom of the foot. Some patients only experience symptoms in the morning, while others have more consistent pain.

Common Mistakes During Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Unhealthy Body Weight

Being overweight is associated with an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. This is because excess weight puts added stress on the foot throughout the day. Watching your weight can be an essential step toward recovering from plantar fasciitis. This can be difficult if your plantar fasciitis impacts mobility. But habits like a healthier diet and low-stress exercises can help you lose weight or keep weight off during treatment.

Fighting Through Pain

There are some injuries that you can push through without making symptoms worse. Unfortunately, plantar fasciitis is not one of those. If your foot is in pain from plantar fasciitis, it is likely a result of stress. Trying to push through that pain will only worsen the stress, causing more pain and more damage to the foot. This includes prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Rest for the foot is a common treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Not Changing Shoes

Poor footwear is commonly linked to all kinds of foot injuries, including plantar fasciitis. If you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, it is highly recommended that you switch to more supportive footwear. Ignoring this basic step can derail treatment. You may simply be worsening your symptoms each day that you continue wearing unsupportive footwear.

Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

In addition to rest and ice, stretching is the most highly recommended form of treatment for plantar fasciitis. Many of the best stretches for plantar fasciitis are very easy to do, and take only a few minutes. Here are a few of the most commonly recommended stretches for plantar fasciitis.

Towel Stretch

For this stretch, you may either be seated in a chair or on the ground. With your leg stretched in front of you, place a folded towel under the arch of your foot. Grab both ends of the towel and pull the towel gently up toward your body. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Calf Stretch

Place your hands against a wall, standing arm’s length away from it. Extend your right leg behind you while slowly bending the left knee, keeping the right leg straight. You should feel light pressure in the lower leg and foot as you hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.

Foot Roll

This stretch requires a chair and a foam roller (some also use a frozen water bottle instead of the roller). Sit in the chair, placing the roller underneath your foot. Slowly roll your foot back and forth over the roller for about 1 minute.

To learn more about Plantar Fasciitis treatment options or schedule a consultation, contact Diablo Foot & Ankle today.

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