You swing your feet over the side of the bed, stand up, and ouch!
What is that pain in your heel that’s got you holding one foot while hopping up and down on the other? You gingerly step down again and you can still feel it, a sharp, stabbing pain deep inside your foot.
A quick Google search offers a diagnosis: plantar fasciitis. You read that it’s inflammation of your plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. When it’s under too much stress, it develops small tears and irritation. The pain usually goes away once you get up and moving, but according to the internet, ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic, debilitating pain and other foot, knee, hip, or back problems.
So what can you do to alleviate and prevent plantar fasciitis?
Get checked out
Sure, Dr. Internet is great. But you should have your primary care practitioner check you out or even a physical therapist at Vitality Physical Therapy in Elmhurst too. It’s wise to rule out any other health or structural issues that can cause foot pain.
Plantar fasciitis is most common in runners and other athletes. If you run a lot, incorporating foot stretches into your normal warm up and wind down routines can help prevent the development of foot pain.
Even if you are not physically active, you may suffer from heel pain if you work on your feet all day, or if you tend to wear shoes with poor support. You can also benefit from doing foot stretches throughout the day.
Plantar fasciitis is felt most often first thing in the morning because the plantar fascia tends to tighten when you are at rest. If you’re suffering from heel pain, try these stretchesin the morning before doing anything else:
Massage is relaxing even under the best circumstances, so no wonder it’s ideal for soothing sore muscles and tissues when you’ve strained something! In fact, some studies have found that massage combined with stretching works better at treating plantar fasciitis than other medical treatments.
If you’re suffering from heel pain, massage by Annie at ZenGate Healing Arts may help. A massage therapist who is familiar with foot pain and understands all of the muscle groups in your legs/feet and how they connect will know how to massage your tissues and release the tension that can cause pain.
Alternatively, you can do a simple massage at home too. Start by warming your foot tissues with a hot bath, shower, or foot soak to loosen them up. With a little bit of moisturizer or ZenGate Healing Arts CBD massage oil on your hands, massage your foot along its full length from heel to toes with medium to firm pressure. Then switch to massaging across the width of your foot. Go back and forth in these two directions for about two minutes on each foot. Finish by applying ice to each foot for about 15 minutes.
Whether you see a professional at ZenGate Healing Arts or do it yourself, massage increases blood circulation and reduces tightness in your plantar fascia. Better circulation allows your tired muscles to get the oxygen and nutrients they need to feel strong again. All of this promotes healing to the damage done to your foot tissues and helps those tissues be more limber and ready for action so they don’t sustain more damage as you go about your day.
We’ll find a solution
Whatever the cause of your heel pain, the solution is possible. A combination of targeted massage and stretches can go a long way in healing hurting feet and preventing plantar fasciitis in the future. The next time you get out of bed and feel that familiar stabbing pain, take a few minutes for stretches and massage, and you’ll be up on your feet— literally— in no time!