Do You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
You wake up one morning and as soon as your foot hits the ground for your first step you feel a sharp pain in the bottom of your heel and the arch of your foot. Ouch! Welcome to the wonderful world of plantar fasciitis pain. Typically you feel this pain in the morning then it slowly goes away as you walk around. The pain will return if you walk a lot or go running; then will fade with rest.
When I was in massage school learning about pathology of pain, I had the tendency to turn into a hypochondriac. So after about I started feeling the kind of pain typically associated with plantar fasciitis, I wrote it off as a figment of my overactive imagination. Finally the pain became so intense I had to treat the symptoms. But I knew that treating the symptoms was not a long term solution.
Plantar fasciitis is especially tricky because the pain is terrible at times, then fades, then returns with a vengeance before fading again. I would relate it to a hangover from drinking too much. You wake up in the morning feeling the pain and vou to change your life. Then as the pain decreases you fall back into your old ways. And the cycle repeats until you make some meaningful lifestyle changes.
Being a holistic health nerd and licensed massage therapist; I still fell into this unhealthy trap with plantar fasciitis twice in my life. The first time was shortly after I began working full-time doing massage. I was doing my best to stretch and practice proper body mechanics. But my body was becoming increasingly sore and the pain began at my feet. I know so many of you will be able to relate to the dilemma that comes with overuse injuries related to our careers. What do you do? You have financial responsibilities but your body is screaming out in pain begging you to stop doing what you’re doing.
The second time I struggled with plantar fasciitis was after I began running. I did a lot of research about the healthy steps you should take when you are a beginner runner. This includes getting the proper footwear, working on your posture, breathing, and stretching. Nevertheless after two weeks of training I woke up with the familiar pain in the arch of my foot. Hello old friend! I was on the path to plantar fasciitis pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Remedies
Fortunately, with a bit of trial and error I was able to remedy my plantar fasciitis. I have outlined the remedies that worked for me below. Keep in mind, plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury and it will not go away on it’s own. As with any kind of new or intense pain, speak with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. A general rule of thumb when deciding if you should make a doctor appointment is if the pain is your first or worst.
Once you know you are dealing with plantar fasciitis then you can explore the remedies that work best for your body. When I began this journey I read raving reviews about a remedy that worked so well for one individual. When I tried the results were lackluster and I found it very discouraging. That mentality really held me back! Because when it comes to health and wellness it’s never a one size fits all situation. I had to learn to listen to my body and observe my personal proclivities to determine what approach was needed.
Frozen Water Bottle Foot Massage
WIth any overuse injury ice is needed to decrease inflammation. Rolling a frozen water bottle under your foot not only ices your injury but the rolling motion will stretch your tight muscles. This plantar fasciitis treatment works best with a thin plastic water bottle. Simply freeze a full water bottle overnight and then you are ready to get rolling! I found it was best to roll my feet with the frozen water bottle every morning for about ten minutes. Then after standing for a long period of time, walking a long distance or running for about ten minutes. Keep in mind ice is cold! I had the strangest feeling while doing the frozen water bottle massage because it simultaneously felt really good icing and stretching my inflamed muscles and really bad like I was about to get frostbite. Do not ice your foot for too long because it will do more harm than good! Another similar treatment is rolling a frozen golf ball under your food. Here you get a deeper stretch and the golf ball is not as cold as ice.
Plantar Fasciitis Stretches
First a note of caution, if your muscles are especially tight you need to be careful not to overstretch as this will cause a tear or rupture. The goal of stretching is to elongate your muscles so you can return to normal range of motion. Here are a few plantar fasciitis stretches and exercises:
Standing Calf Stretch
Tennis Ball Roll-out
Trigger Point Release for Plantar Fasciitis
A trigger point is caused when muscle tissue does not receive enough blood flow. Typically this is due to muscle tissue being overused, over stretched, too tight or muscle trauma from an injury. Trigger point release happens when direct pressure is placed upon the area of the muscle that lacks blood flow.
Kinesio tape provides support to your foot’s plantar fascia ligament. The tape also increases blood flow by lifting the skin which leads to reduced swelling.
When you soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath the naturally occurring magnesium is absorbed into your skin. Magnesium not only relieves pain by decreasing inflammation it also draws toxins from your body.