Your plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue inside the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It also helps to support your arch. Everyone has a plantar fascia, but if this tissue becomes inflamed, it leads to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis.
More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with this condition each year, according to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Plantar fasciitis makes walking painful, especially those first steps of the morning.
At Glendale Foot and Ankle Podiatry Center, Hermoz Ayvazian, DPM, FACFAS, QME, and our team recommend you come to see us any time you have a foot issue. You may have plantar fasciitis if you immediately feel foot pain when you wake up and get out of bed.
If plantar fasciitis is causing problems for you, and you live or work in the Glendale or Burbank areas, we can help. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about living with plantar fasciitis.
Your foot needs support
Think of your plantar fascia as a shock absorber in your foot. When your plantar fascia is irritated and inflamed, it can’t absorb shocks. A few underlying conditions can contribute to plantar fasciitis, including:
- Flat feet
- Increasing your walking, jogging, or running miles very suddenly
- Wearing unsupportive shoes
- Being overweight
If unsupportive shoes are the culprit, consider investing in a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes with arch supports. We might also suggest orthotics, especially if flat feet contribute to your discomfort.
Stretch and strengthen your feet
An inflamed plantar fascia is tight and inflexible. If it’s painful to step out of bed in the morning, try doing a few stretches — before you even place your foot on the floor. Here’s what you can do:
- Sit up in bed and cross your bad leg over your good leg
- Grab the toes on your affected foot
- Slowly and gently, pull your toes closer to you
- You should feel a controlled stretch of the plantar fascia
- Hold the stretch for a count of 10
- Repeat the stretch up to 20 more times before you get out of bed
After you’re out of bed, stretch your calves against the wall:
- Face the wall and lean against it
- Keep one knee straight with that heel flat on the ground
- Place your other leg slightly forward and bend the knee slightly
- Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf
- Hold for a count of 10, release
You can repeat the calf stretch at least 20 times, too. If your muscles feel tight, start with five repetitions and work your way up, over time.
Take a load off
It’s common to experience foot pain if you’re on your feet all day. If you must stand for long hours at work, try taking a few breaks to rest your feet. You can complete the foot exercises mentioned above while you’re resting your feet, too.
It’s also important to take rest days during athletic training. For example, if you’re running every day, be sure to take a day to rest and recover. Adding too many miles too quickly can put a lot of strain on your feet.
Wear splints at night
Stiff night splints or braces can keep your foot in the appropriate position while you sleep. The splint is designed to gently keep your plantar fascia stretched so that the morning pain is diminished.
See a podiatrist
At-home remedies may not be enough to relieve pain. Cortisone injections can help reduce inflammation so you can walk comfortably again.
Whether you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis or another foot ailment, the team at Glendale Foot and Ankle Podiatry Center is on a mission to help keep your feet healthy and happy.
Give us a call in Glendale or Burbank, California, today to set up your appointment, and you can also send a message to Dr. Ayvazian and the team here on our website. Don’t wait any longer to get relief from plantar fasciitis.