The plantar fascia – the muscle running between your toes and your heel – is one of the most frequently stressed muscles in the human body. Although safe walking habits can do a great deal to prevent plantar fasciitis (AKA the strain and eventual microtearing of the plantar fascia), on average, we see one in ten individuals dealing with foot pain who end up needing to find a remedy for plantar fasciitis pain. Fortunately, surgical intervention only rarely is necessary; only five percent of plantar fasciitis victims will be unable to treat it through less drastic solutions. Of course, I would recommend these solutions as general well-being practices for anyone who indulges in jogging or other, equally strenuous exercise, regardless of whether or not they’re in need of a remedy for plantar fasciitis pain
1- Use footwear with adequate support, particularly for the arch. Using loafers, sandals or other shoes with poor support while running or walking for prolonged periods places additional, wholly unnecessary strain on the plantar fascia. Padded soles also can dull hard impacts on pavement and other man-made walking materials that can jar your foot.This also includes having the right footwear for when you’re walking around your own home. Avoid being barefoot or using slippers whenever possible.
2- If your plantar fasciitis is causing swelling, use cold ice packs on your foot. As long as you don’t do anything else to aggravate your foot, this will reduce the swelling and numb the pain until the symptoms relieve themselves. If you have access to one, a frozen golf ball or other round object can be rolled along the underside of your foot to massage the muscle while also providing the desired temperature.However, don’t use heat sources in a similar fashion, even if you’re ordinarily used to contrast baths (which, incidentally, have no proven medical effectiveness in contrast to ice packs). Heat frequently aggravates the symptoms of damage to your plantar fascia.
3- Stretch your feet regularly, especially just after you’ve gotten out of bed or had a prolonged period of being stationary. Personally, I recommend patients try out the towel stretch: roll up a towel, hook it beneath your foot, and apply gentle pressure to the towel while holding your leg straight from a sitting position. However, if you don’t have a towel on hand, other stretches can offer similar benefits without the need for props.
4- Buy separate insoles for your shoes with arch support. These products average out at cheaper than a comparative set of shoes with the arch support built-in, and allow you to keep your wardrobe without sacrificing your foot’s health. However, this remedy for plantar fasciitis pain does call for some cautious shopping, as there are many quality of life differences between brands, such as insoles failing to cover the entire foot or slipping once in place. You’ll also need to replace most brands once or twice a year purely due to wearing them out from use
5- Topical pain medications, usually in the form of a cream, are something I recommend only for cases when correcting self-destructive patient behavior in inadequate for dealing with the immediate symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Although the prescription recommended may vary with the individual in question, plantar fasciitis this severe usually will require a potent medication with anti-inflammation properties, as well as general anesthetic attributes to dull the pain. Over the counter equivalents also are available, albeit generally less effectual in cases that call for egregious measures.
Even though most cases of plantar fasciitis pain are a simple matter of the patient abusing his feet with unhealthy walking, running or standing habits, sometimes I see patients who aren’t even remotely to blame for their situations. Plantar fasciitis also can be a symptom of bone spurs (the outgrowth of additional bone along your normal skeleton, which is especially linked to foot problems in aging individuals) or even naturally ‘too tight’ calf muscles. When prolonged suffering is the result, turning to chemical solutions often is the best thing to do for the patient’s long term quality of life.
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