What is plantar fasciitis? Is it chronic heel pain? How do you know if you might have it?
How do you treat heel pain?
If you have heel pain and suspect you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain and heal your foot. (If you’re not sure if what you have is actually Plantar Fasciitis, read our blog post “What is Plantar Fasciitis” to learn more.)
This might seem kinda obvious, but make sure you treat your heel pain! This is not the kind of pain you want to struggle through unchecked. Studies have shown that within two months of treatment 90% of plantar fasciitis suffers recover. But, if plantar fasciitis goes untreated long enough, it can lead to skeletal changes such as a heel spur – ouch!
As we’re always saying, prevention is better than a cure. So if you’re reading this as a cautionary tale, our top tips to avoiding plantar fasciitis include maintaining a healthy weight – this will minimise the stress you place on your feet – and wearing supportive shoes (or adding support insoles to provide the cushioning, shock absorption and arch support that your feet need – such as our Support Insoles).
Ease tired feet with orthotic insoles
Supportive footwear – such as running shoes with a stiff heel counter and mid-sole support – are the first solution we recommended our clients. However, if the problem is chronic, we (sports podiatrists) will recommend adding orthotics to help support your feet. Orthotic insoles help to cushion your step, reducing the impact your inflamed tissue feels.
Using orthotic insoles is very effective – added to that it’s non-invasive, inexpensive and takes a few seconds to set up! If your symptoms are mild by adding orthotic insoles to correct poor foot biomechanics you can effectively reduce the likelihood of plantar fasciitis being chronic.
While rest is important, it’s not practical to completely avoid standing and walking.
We’re not suggesting you should stop exercising – rather focus on exercise that is less strenuous on your heel and opt for low-impact activities such as swimming and yoga to keep active while you’re having a break.
If you’re suffering plantar fasciitis you might have noticed your walk changing slightly to protect the injury – a normal reaction, but not ideal as it may lead to even more knock-on problems.
Keep your foot compressed
Keep your foot wrapped when you’re up and about. Compression sleeves will help you to reduce swelling and pain in the heel and arch area which aids in tissue repair.
Stretch it out
Make sure to stretch your feet right after you wake up and before you stand up. Stretching can help improve physical function and reduce your pain. It’s especially important after working out, wearing high heels, or long periods spent on your feet.
Pain relief medications such as ibuprofen paracetamol – or any anti-inflammatory medication – will help with the swelling around your heel. That being said, don’t expect this to work its magic if you keep standing on your feet all day with little rest for the pain. Make sure those pain meds are taken in conjunction with some much-need rest.
While you’re resting, keep your feet elevated and apply ice to help with the inflammation.
Support yourself with the Lightfeet Insole
The Lightfeet Support Insole is designed to help support the plantar. In conjunction with your shoe it aligns the biomechanic forces of your standing and walking posture to reduce tissue stress. It also improves the alignment of your joints, bones, muscles and tendons and work to reduce the recurrence of heel pain.