Did you know that plantar fasciitis, a common foot condition that causes pain at the bottom of the foot, can actually have an impact on your back health? Many people are unaware of this connection, but the truth is that the pain and discomfort experienced in the foot can radiate upwards, affecting the muscles and alignment of the back. This means that if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, it’s important to seek treatment not only for your foot but also for your overall well-being. By addressing the underlying causes and focusing on holistic solutions, you can improve both your foot and back health simultaneously.
Plantar fasciitis is a common ailment that commonly causes pain and discomfort, especially when you first step out of bed in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed or strained. While there can be various causes for this, such as overuse, improper footwear, or high-impact activities, the characteristic symptom is often that intense pain experienced upon standing up after rest. This initial step can be quite painful and might make walking difficult until the foot loosens up. Similarly, individuals who have been sitting or inactive for a considerable amount of time may also experience an increase in pain and stiffness when they begin to move again. So, whether you’ve just woken up or have been sitting for a while, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis can be particularly bothersome during these situations.
If you’re experiencing both lower back pain and plantar fasciitis, it’s essential not to delay seeking medical assistance. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial as they will carry out a thorough physical examination. In addition, they may recommend conducting imaging tests to eliminate other potential factors that may be contributing to the discomfort in your foot and its spread up to your leg and back. Identifying the root cause of your symptoms is key to finding the appropriate treatment and improving your overall well-being.
Stretching is essential for maintaining a healthy range of motion in your joints and muscles. Without it, they may shorten and become tight, leading to pain, injury, or damage.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that can be alleviated with stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons of the feet, according to physical therapist Leigh-Ann Bramble of HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center. According to her, performing certain stretches helps decrease pain while speeding up recovery time for these common injuries.
Dynamic stretches are ideal before exercise or sport, as they increase muscle temperature and decrease stiffness. Static stretches such as those for plantar fasciitis should be done prior to bed or when the affected area is not in use.
When stretching, never go beyond your comfort level and always hold each stretch until you feel tension, not pain. Doing this helps avoid activating the body’s natural defense mechanism called the stretch reflex which could cause muscles and tendons to contract and restrict stretching motions.
Plantar fasciitis can be treated with a range of medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections. Steroids are often the fastest and most efficient way to control inflammation; however, they come with potential risks that should be considered before beginning treatment.
Medications can be part of an integrated approach to treating this condition, combining home treatments and physical therapy. One important part of that program includes stretching and strengthening exercises designed to address functional risk factors like tightness in the gastrocsoleus complex or weakness in Achilles tendon and intrinsic foot muscles.
Resting and icing the area of pain several times a day can help reduce swelling, discomfort, and inflammation. Wearing supportive shoes and avoiding activities that create pressure points on your feet also contribute to this reduction.
It is essential to select shoes that provide support and reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. Your doctor may suggest orthotics as a possible remedy for alleviating symptoms.
Avoid wearing shoes that are fragile or lack arch support, as these could cause your feet to shift out of alignment. Furthermore, steer clear of high heels as these could exacerbate existing pain.
If you must wear heels to work, invest in a pair of shoes with wide heel support and an excellent base. Naot Women’s Innovate heel sandal is one such example that provides both comfort and support.
Exercise is an integral component of a plantar fasciitis recovery plan. A suitable fitness regimen should include stretching, strengthening and cardio-like exercises.
Yoga, for instance, helps stretch the calf and Achilles tendon by stretching, thus relieving pressure on the plantar fascia. Stretching before a workout or long day on your feet also helps protect against plantar fasciitis.
Another exercise that may help relieve heel pain is ankle circles. Start by sitting or standing with one foot elevated a few inches off the ground, rotating it in circles several times before reversing directions.
Plyometric exercises – or jumping – should not be attempted by those with plantar fasciitis as they cause sudden bursts of energy that could further tear and strain the fascia. Until your doctor gives the green light for jumping again, opt for low-impact alternatives like swimming, cycling or rowing until your feet have fully recovered.
You might also like to read: