There are a few simple maneuvers that may bring relief without need for further intervention.3 Many sports medicine practitioners suggest placing a frozen bag of corn or even a cold beverage can under the affected foot and rolling it back and forth using the foot. This method provides a stretch and an ice massage simultaneously. However, if these strategies are ineffective, the problem may require referral to a Massage Therapist. The mainstays of massage include myofascial release and scar tissue breakdown of the plantar fascia, and supervised stretching. People with plantar fasciitis should be careful to wear supportive and stable shoes. They should avoid open-back shoes, sandals, and flip-flops.
The second plantar fasciitis stretching includes sitting in a chair with your heel placed on the seat of your chair. You can even place the painful heel on the knee of the opposite leg. Now, dorsiflex your ankle by slowly bringing the foot closer to the shin bone. Continue the dorsiflex and feel the stretch in the long muscles in the back of the lower leg. Hold the position for two minutes and relax the ankle. Repeat 10 times. Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced ” plantar fash-eee-eye-tiss”) means literally “inflammation of the plantar fascia”. Plantar Fasciitis is also called “Policeman’s Heel”. Plantar Fasciitis is often associated with calcaneal spurs (heel spurs).
The fit of a shoe is important. Wearing small shoes can aggravate plantar fasciitis. When shopping for shoes or trying on shoes that have been bought and delivered on the internet, patients should do so in the afternoon or evening. This is because as the day progresses, feet swell and become slightly bigger than in the morning. Also, it is common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. If this is the case, patients should check the fit based on how the larger foot feels. Shoes are better slightly too large (on the smaller foot) than vice versa.
Stretching the Achilles tendon (which attaches your calf muscle to your heel) is important, as tightness here can keep you from flexing your foot freely, putting more strain on the plantar fascia. And the plantar fascia itself should be stretched gently on a regular basis as well to keep inflammation from becoming a problem. These both tend to tighten overnight, which is why those with plantar fasciitis tend to find their condition worse first thing in the morning when taking their first few steps from bed. The real truth about when you should apply Heat or Ice and for how long to your foot to decrease swelling, inflammation and irritation.
The main question I get from runners is “can I run with plantar fasciitis?” The answer is yes, provided it has been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. As I said earlier, plantar fasciitis is by far the most common form of heel pain, however there are other causes. Certain things can mimic the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, such as stress fractures on the heel bone, bone tumors, and bone cysts, or weak areas. The difference is that they are usually more painful when you run and will not subside (but instead get worse) while you are walking or running. A fractured heel bone will definitely interrupt your training schedule.