Plantar Fasciitis- Healing your heel!
Plantar Fasciitis is one of those injuries that many people experience at one time or another. It’s no fun, as it makes the basic activity of walking a pain in the…heel!!!
Plantar Fasciitis is usually caused by irritation or tearing of the thick fascia on the arch of the foot and may include strained Quadratus Plantae, Flexor Digitorum Brevis, and Abductor Digiti Minimi muscles underlying it. In addition, heel pain can be referred from the soleus muscle which is deep mid calf and joins the gastrocnemius muscle in the achilles tendon which attaches on the back of the heel. Also, sometimes irritation in this area may cause a small bone spur to develop under the heel, adding to the discomfort.
If you find yourself experiencing heel pain, do something about it right away. The longer you try to ignore it, the longer it will take to heal. This is one of those conditions that warrants receiving bodywork or Physical Therapy for at least a few sessions in addition to home exercises.
But there are some self care stategies that you can try right away at home. You need to be consistant with these and also give yourself a break from strenuous walking, running or jumping exercises so healing can occur.
- Wear supportive shoes with arch support. Don’t walk around barefooted, but use supportive foortwear all the time. Some people swear by hard soled shoes, such as Danco.
- Buy some inserts indicated for plantar fasciitis to soften the heel strike while walking and support the arch.
- Stretch the foot by standing on the edge of a step, ball of foot on the edge (hold on to something) and slowly drop your heel down into a gentle stretch. Hold for 5 and repeat up to 5 times, 3 times a day. Don’t overdo it and if you don’t begin to feel relief, back off the stretch.
- Ice the sole of the foot several times a day to cut inflammation and bring blood to the area for healing. Some folks freeze a small plastic water bottle and roll their foot on that.
- Use a RUBZ ball for foot massage (see below) several times a day while sitting or for a deeper massage, while standing. This bring blood to the tissues and breaks up scar tissue, as well as reducing tightness in the muscle of the foot. Again, don’t overdo. Start gently and work deeper if it is helping.
- In addition to these strategies, your practitioner can calm the inflammation with ultrasound therapy, support healing with kineseotaping, and teach you positional techniques you can do at home.
Here is the amazon link for the Rubz ball: