“My foot hurts! Could I be experiencing plantar fasciitis?”
Plantar fasciitis, commonly known in the medical field as PF is a condition which is often initially painful when getting up and walking in the morning. It can be surprisingly debilitating and can limit your normal activities due to pain. The pain is usually on the inner aspect of the heel. It usually improves as you walk around throughout the day. Walking on hard surfaces, especially without supportive footwear, can also trigger these symptoms.
“What is actually going on?”
The plantar fascia is a strip of connective tissue that starts on the front of our heel and extends up to the ball of the foot. It is under greatest tension at the heel itself as well as where it arcs up to help form the arch of the foot. This may explain why we are most likely to experience pain in these areas. Plantar Fasciitis describes inflammation (the term ‘itis’ refers to inflammation) of the connective tissue ( fascia ) along the bottom of the foot ( plantar ).
“What do I do about it?”
Here are 3 easy possible solutions to try at home prior to consulting a professional.
1. Standing Gastroc stretch: drop your heel off the edge of a stair and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
2. Untuck the sheets at the bottom of the bed. This will help prevent your foot to point during the night, which shortens your achilles tendon.
3. Roll your heel over a frozen water bottle for ice and self massage on the plantar fascia. You can also use a golf ball.
4. Stretch your achilles/heel cords first thing in the morning prior to getting up with a towel wrapped at the balls of your foot.