Among the various causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the most common one. Symptomized by a stabbing pain in the heels and bottom of your foot after a period of inactivity, people who tend to walk a lot suffer from this.
Obesity, aging, aggressive exercise, pregnancy and structural problems like high arches and flat feet also play a key role in the development of this condition.
The good news, however, is that it can be treated with off-the-counter medication accompanied by physiotherapy.
While ignoring the symptoms may lead to aggravation of the condition, simple physical therapy and these home remedies can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
1. Switch to Comfortable Footwear
As the saying goes, give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world. Giving the right pair of shoes (See the best shoes on this link) to people suffering from Plantar fasciitis also works the same way.
While high heels are a big no, comfortable athletic shoes with sufficient padding can help relieve pain.
Since you can’t possibly wear your joggers everywhere, you can get orthotics shoe pads/inserts which can be easily placed in any pair of shoes before you wear them.
Another thing you need to look out for is that your feet don’t make direct contact with hard surfaces, most importantly the first steps you take when you get off the bed in the morning.
2. Foot Massage
Massaging your feet can also help alleviate pain from underneath your feet by easing the tension in the muscles and joints. Massaging helps improve blood circulation in your feet, which considerably reduces the inflammation in your feet.
You can either massage gently with your fingers after applying lotion or bring home an electric foot massager.
Repeating this practice twice or thrice a day can bring about considerable relief from the pain.
While aggressive exercise is one of the biggest causes of plantar fasciitis, low impact exercise can actually work to help relieve the pain. This includes exercises that don’t put pressure on your sole and heels, like swimming and cycling.
When in bed, try physical therapy exercises like curling your toes and making circles slowly.
Stretching your feet, and calf muscles also loosens them up which may tighten up otherwise because of walking or running. Stand by facing a wall, placing one foot on it and one on the floor.
Place your hands on the wall and stay in the position for 10-15 seconds, then switch to the other foot.
4. Use an Ice Pack
Ice packs work wonders on swelling and inflammation. Don’t bring it in direct contact with your feet, cover with a towel or cloth. Apply for 10-15 minutes at once (not more), for best results.
Rolling an ice cube or a golf ball also helps, although both these techniques work totally differently from one another.
5. Wear Night Splints
So how do night splints work? By stretching your calves and arches, it helps alleviate pain off your feet which may develop as a result of sleeping with your feet pointed up or down.
When you sleep on your back or stomach, your feet are pointed upwards and backwards respectively. This shortens the Plantar fascia, resulting in pain and inflammation.
Night splints work to keep your feet at an angle of 90 degrees, stretching your muscles for you. Although they might seem cumbersome, wearing them helps with the pain. Once the pain is gone, you won’t have to wear them.