April 18, 2017 @ 12:00am
There is a thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. This connects the heel bone to the toes and can sometimes get irritated or swollen. When it becomes inflamed it is called plantar fasciitis.

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What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis? 

The most common symptom is pain under the heel and arch of the foot. The pain is often worst when you first get out of bed in the morning and may become less painful throughout the day. This area can also hurt when you get up after being seated for some time. It often affects people who run, jump, or stand for long periods.

What can you do on your own to make it feel better? 

  1. REST – Give your foot a chance to heal and avoid aggravating activities for a couple of weeks. But don’t completely stop being active as it might lead to more pain and stiffness.
  2. ICE – Put ice on your heel for 15-20 minutes up to 4 times a day or try an ice cup to massage your heel for 3-5 minutes.
  3. MASSAGE – Try massaging the bottom of your foot and heel, using a tennis ball, baseball or frozen water bottle to roll the bottom of your foot might also be effective.
  4. STRETCH – Stretching the bottom of your foot using a towel wrapped around your toes and pull towards you.
  5. SHOEWEAR – Wear sneakers with a good arch, plenty of cushion and a heel support. You can also try adding a padded or gel heel insert to your shoes.
  6. SPLINTS – Some people feel better if they wear a splint while they sleep to keep their foot stretched at a 90 degree angle.
  7. MEDICATION – If your pain is severe, you can try over-the-counter pain medication. But if you have other medical conditions or already take other medicines, please ask your doctor before taking new pain medicines.

Still not getting better? 

Consult with your healthcare provider. They might recommend following up with a Podiatrist, Physical Therapist, or Athletic Trainer. Podiatrists specialize in foot care and can do a thorough examination of your foot to help diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis. Therapists can provide a comprehensive list of exercises, perform deep tissue mobilization, taping techniques, and perform modalities to help decrease the inflammation, or fit you for custom orthotics.

How to help prevent heel pain? 

  • Wear shoes that fit well, have a lot of cushion, and support the heel and ankle
  • Avoid wearing slippers, flip-flops, slip-ons, poorly fitted shoes, or worn-out shoes
  • Avoid going barefoot
  • Avoid sudden increases in the distance you run
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis symptoms, Divine Savior Podiatrist Dr. Stephen Murphy and the Rehabilitation Team can help. Call 608-745-4598 to schedule an appointment.
Learn more about common foot problems, at our "Love Your Feet" presentation on Wednesday, April 19th. Click here for more information. 
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Post tags:Physical Therapy