Plantar fasciitis is a common foot ailment characterized by inflammation and pain in the fibrous tissue located on the bottom of the foot. This condition is commonly caused by repetitive stress or strain on the foot, particularly the heel and arch. It is estimated that around 10% of the population experiences plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives. Symptoms include sharp pain in the heel or arch area, especially during the first few steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. Factors such as excessive physical activity, improper footwear, obesity, and abnormal foot mechanics can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Seeking early treatment and implementing lifestyle changes can help alleviate pain and promote healing.
The most common approach to treating this condition typically involves a combination of rest, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, engaging in stretching exercises, and receiving massage therapy. However, there are instances where more advanced treatments like corticosteroid injections may be required to bring relief. These injections help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Resting the affected area gives the body time to recover, while anti-inflammatory medications help alleviate pain and swelling. Stretching exercises help improve flexibility and restore normal range of motion. Massage therapy can help relax muscles and alleviate tension, promoting overall recovery and well-being. Nonetheless, in more severe cases, where the standard treatment methods are insufficient, corticosteroid injections provide targeted and powerful relief, aiding in the recovery process.
Stretching exercises are a highly recommended method to alleviate the discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis and enhance the healing process. They can be performed at any time throughout the day, but are particularly beneficial when done before getting out of bed in the morning or after extended periods of sitting.
Stretching can also be beneficial if you are recovering from a running injury. It is wise to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers before beginning these exercises, if needed.
Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall with your desired foot behind another leg. Keep the back heel on the floor as you bend your front knee until you feel an intense stretch in that leg below.
Hold this position for 20 seconds, then repeat three times on the other leg. Doing so can help improve flexibility in the calves and Achilles tendon.
Massage can be a key part of treating plantar fasciitis in addition to stretching and massaging. Massage helps break down adhesions caused by chronic inflammation, relieving pain and increasing mobility at the same time.
Cross-friction massage (tranverse friction massage) is an effective technique that can be performed by a professional therapist from Zeel’s network or at your own convenience with just a tennis ball, baseball or therapy ball on the sole of your foot. This massage breaks down scar tissue to facilitate faster healing times and improve circulation in the area.
To perform deep tissue massage, the therapist must locate and dorsiflex the foot in order to stretch its plantar fascia. They then apply pressure with finger pads on top of this structure by moving it in an up-and-down motion across its grain with moderate pressure applied for five minutes.
Massage therapy is an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation. It may also aid in rehabilitation of a strained muscle or release knots within your muscles that are causing tenseness and discomfort.
Even experienced massage therapists may not be familiar with all parts of your body, so self-massage can be an effective way to address specific areas that are causing you discomfort.
Self-massage the feet is a popular area for relaxation. If your feet have become sore or swollen due to stress, overexertion, or unfitting shoes, an easy massage can help relieve tension and pain.
No matter the cause of your foot pain, there are a variety of self-massage techniques that can help relieve discomfort and inflammation. These may include:
Orthotics help distribute pressure evenly on your foot, helping prevent pain, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis from occurring. Custom-made orthotics provide the optimal solution to reduce foot strain and stress on the plantar fascia.
Orthotic devices offer a semi-rigid support that relieves pressure off the heels and feet. Furthermore, they offer shock absorption to protect plantar fascia from repetitive strain.
Custom orthotics are specifically tailored to each foot’s arch shape and bone structure, making sure they fit perfectly. This explains why over-the-counter orthotics may not be as successful in treating plantar fasciitis as custom ones are.
Orthotics, when utilized as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for acute plantar fasciitis, have been demonstrated to reduce pain and enhance function in adults with the condition. These devices – either prefabricated or custom-fitted – have few risks and potential side effects when used properly.
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