By Misty Jurgens Barker
Everyone has those days that their feet hurt so badly. Sometimes you might feel as if you just can’t take one more step. If this is how you feel, it could very well be that you have Plantar Fasciitis. This is a condition where inflammation and pain is in the plantar fascia of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the heel of the foot. This is the reason it might be difficult for you to walk. It is discovered in both men and women. It is found more often in active men ages 40-70.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is caused when the plantar fascia gets inflamed and causes heel pain and stiffness. Plantar fascia is the thick band of fibrous connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the toes, along the sole of the foot. Plantar fascia is shock absorption for when the foot touches the ground; it supports the arch of the foot. This is to help the foot stay flexible. It is responsible for absorbing high stresses and strains that we put our feet through. Too much stress or pressure will cause damage or tears to the tissue.
So what causes Plantar Fasciitis?
According to research, it develops due to foot arch problems, both flat foot and high arches, obesity, running, gaining weight suddenly and having a tight Achilles tendon. Most people think it is a heel spur, but an x-ray will let you know for sure.
Doctors usually can make a definite determination if you have a heel spur or plantar fasciitis by taking x-rays. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you feel pain in your foot so they can help relieve the pain and/or discomfort before it gets worse. You more than likely have plantar fasciitis if you experience pain in your foot, pain is often, family history of it, when you walk the pain increases, long-distance runner, gained weight suddenly, tight Achilles tendon or have poor arched soles in your shoes. You should be able to tell your doctor when you notice the pain, where pain is located, how the pain feels, and any medications you are on, any past conditions that could be affecting the foot.
Initial Medical Treatments:
Each person gets relief differently depending on how bad the pain and actual cause of pain.
1.) Most of the time your doctor will suggest that you take tylenol or advil to reduce the pain and inflammation.
2.) You will need to do heel and foot stretches.
3.) You might get night splints to wear while you are sleeping which helps stretch the foot.
4.) Stay off your feet for a week as much as possible.
5.) Ice your heel in 10 minute increments to help with the pain and inflammation.
6.) Make sure you get fitted for proper shoes that have good support and cushion.
Next Step Medical Treatments:
When the pain continues past a couple of days it’s time to step up the treatment protocols
1.) See the Orthopedic to get insoles (orthotics) that help support your feet.
2.) Ice the painful area at least twice a day for approximately 10-15 minutes; do this for a week.
3.) Use an elastic band and stretch your feet to your shins and hold this for 20 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
4.) Standing against the wall and stretching your foot with toes in the air is another good stretch.
5.) Take two canned goods and roll your feet on top of them. Alternative: use frozen cans
6.) Perform calf stretches. Lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and foot’s heel on the ground. Repeat this exercise 20 times for each foot. A strong pull in the calf should be felt during the stretch.
ATTENTION: BEST TIP!!!
7.) Perform a plantar fascia stretch.
A.) In the seated position, cross your affected foot over the knee of your other leg.
B.) Grasp the toes of your painful foot and slowly pull them toward you in a controlled fashion. If it is difficult to reach your foot, wrap a towel around your big toe to help pull your toes toward you.
C.) Place your other hand along the plantar fascia. It will feel like a tight band along the bottom of your foot when stretched. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat it 20 times for each foot. This exercise is best done in the morning before standing or walking.
Don’t give up after a few treatments. These exercises are trying to prevent the next steps. If after several weeks of treatment and stretching, consultation with a physical therapist and an Orthopedist can’t help you get rid of the pain, you might need steroid shots in the heel or as last resort…SURGERY!
Try a few of these steps. You or a family member may need them someday. Please respond with extra steps that you have tried or feel would help others!!!!
Edited by Ross Ashcraft
15 thoughts on “Help my Hurting Heel!!!”
I feel like you wrote this just for me! I went to my chiropractor yesterday and got the Green Light to really start running again now that my Plantar Fasciitis is getting much better.
You got it! You and a few others in the building were the inspiration for the timing of this blog!
I am so appreciative for this article! I have a potential client that is suffering from this condition and could put this article to good use. Thanks!
Ok this seems like something I would do for homework for others to do and myself. I am taking this to the bank right now.
My heels often hurt standing all day at work and I thought my feel were just sore, I guess there was a reason it kept getting worse.
when I was working 80+ hours a week a few summers ago my feet would hurt so bad! I would freeze glass bottles and roll them under my foot several times a day. it felt amazing
I use to have those days when waring the wrong shoes during a 12hr shift. I would dread the 6.5minute walk from the laboratory to the employee parking garage.
Wow this is going to be really useful in the long run. I am going to try these steps on a few people that I know to see if this will help relieve some of their foot pain.
These sound like great tips, I will be sure to pass them on to future clients to use.
Good article but i don’t really have problems with that but i will tell people that i have problems with it.
This is a great article the fact that i am constantly on my feet and they are always hurting after a long shift this helps greatly.
This article is great! I have a number of clients that suffer from plantar fasciitis and its awesome to know these helpful exercises they can do at home! An educated client is a happy client 🙂 thanks for the info Misty!
Yes, we must educate our clients. Educated client is a happily paying client 😉
I still love reading these blogs! They’re so helpful and informative. I get a lot of clients with this problem. I knew some of these pointers but will be sure to teach them the new ones i learned. Thanks Misty and Ross 🙂 i miss you both
We miss you as well. Thanks for loving the Blog!