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Plantar Fasciitis: How to Stop the Pain

Updated: May 30

With the pain you feel in your heel first thing out of bed, it’s a wonder you want to get up at all!

Initially, this heel pain may not be every morning and it may be in only one foot. It might be when you get up from watching TV the first couple of weeks. But if you leave it untreated, there are two things that happen…

  1. It goes away…risky to wait long enough to see if this is the case. In the cases I've seen where this does go away, people always eventually develop the pain again down the road and it returns worse than the first flare up

OR

  1. It gets worse... it can move into both feet and left too long, it takes longer to heal and costs you more intervention, time and money to address.


If you catch it soon enough, you might get away with just exercises and wearing Birkenstocks in the house.

If you’ve left it until you have the pain consistently getting up from rest and if it’s moved into the other heel as well, you need to get this dealt with right away!


The likelihood is that you’re experiencing something called plantar fasciitis. Don't worry, it's actually quite common. Don’t mistake it for other types of heel pain.


Plantar fasciitis is specifically heel pain getting up from rest, not pain the more you’re on your feet. If you get heel pain the  more you’re on your feet and not after getting up from rest, check out this video:




Let's understand what plantar fasciitis is all about.

Think about a thick rubber band that attaches at the heel and runs along the bottom of your foot, through your arch connecting your heel bone to your toes. When this band gets irritated or inflamed, it can lead to heel pain, especially when you're getting up after a period of rest, like when you wake up in the morning or after sitting for awhile. That’s because this band like fascia shortens when we relax and then when we get up, the part that attaches to the heel gets a quick pull and this causes inflammation. The inflammation is the culprit. Yes, you can develop a bone spur because of the pulling but it’s not a spike you are walking on and 80% of us have a heel

spur and don’t have any pain. Check out this video on heel spurs:



So why does this happen to some people and not others? It's all about biomechanics, which is just a fancy word for how you walk and your bone and muscle alignment.  When you walk or stand, your feet absorb a lot of pressure. Sometimes, due to certain factors like wearing improper footwear, having tight calf muscles, extra body weight, age and/or having flat feet, that pressure can become too much for the plantar fascia to handle. This can cause tiny tears in the tissue, leading to inflammation and pain.


Fear not! We see this condition more than any other. There are some simple things you can do right away to help ease that heel pain and get back to feeling good.


Here are the top five tips for easing pain from plantar fasciitis:

  1. Stretch It Out: Gentle stretching exercises for your calf muscles and the bottom of your foot can help relieve tension on the plantar fascia. A: as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, trace each letter in the alphabet with both feet. This will get 

blood flowing through those stiff morning feet and stretch out your fascia. B: later in the day, do calf stretches by standing with one foot behind the other and leaning forward, or rolling a tennis ball under your foot.

  1. Supportive Shoes: The best thing to get rid of your pain right away is get into a BIrkenstock sandal https://shophealthwalks.ca/collections/birkenstock-sandals make sure to wear them right out of bed AFTER you do the alphabet stretches listed above! They don’t feel comfy right away but they will take away the pain when you get up from rest and you gradually increase the time you are wearing them around the house. They also give you a corrective sandal to wear in the summer……two for one….slipper and sandal. Say goodbye to those old, worn-out shoes and hello to proper footwear with good arch support and a solid heel counter. Let us help you shop for footwear. Book your online consult with us and we can teach you how to shop for proper footwear. Your feet will thank you! In the meantime, check out our how to shop for sneaker video here:

  2. Ice, Ice Baby: When your heels are feeling achy, applying ice can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Simply wrap some ice cubes in a towel and place it on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes at a time or grab a frozen water bottle and roll your heels and arches while sitting.

  3. Pain relieving creams: There are great creams on the market these days that go right to the issues, providing relief quite quickly. We use an all natural incase you have pets that lick you: https://shophealthwalks.ca/collections/splinting-bracing-pain-relief

  4. See a Specialist: If the pain persists despite trying these home remedies or you’ve left this over 3-4 months,  it is time to seek professional help. A pedorthist, like ours here at HealthWalks, specializes in foot mechanics and footwear. Book today! https://www.healthwalks.ca/book-appointment


By taking these simple steps, you can kick plantar fasciitis to the curb and get back to doing the things you love without that nagging heel pain. Remember, your feet are the foundation of your body that affect your knees, hip and back so take care of them and they'll take care of you!

If you're ready to say goodbye to heel pain for good, book an online consultation with our pedorthist. They'll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to get you back on your feet in no time. Don't let plantar fasciitis hold you back any longer – take the first step towards pain-free living today!


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