How To Heal Plantar Fasciitis Quickly

How To Heal Plantar Fasciitis Quickly

11 steps to recovery……

Introduction

Chronic Plantar fasciitis is where you have pain on the bottom of your foot, around your heel and arch. You can usually ease the pain yourself, but see a GP if the pain does not improve within 2 weeks.

It’s more likely to be plantar fasciitis if you feel pain and the pain is much worse when you start walking after sleeping or resting, or the pain feels better during exercise, but returns after resting. Also, Plantar Fasciitis can be when it’s difficult to raise your toes off the floor

How to ease plantar fasciitis

The good news is you don’t have to suffer through this long-term! In this article, we will explore how to heal plantar fasciitis and how to help prevent it from returning.

Why does your Plantar Fascia hurt?

Some people believe they develop plantar fasciitis due to having flat feet or high arches. Others say plantar fasciitis symptoms occur when they stand on hard surfaces or after prolonged standing.

However, Plantar Fasciitis may well be due to a lack of mobility in another area of your body. This is why assessment and being medically reviewed or getting a health care professional to provide advice and diagnosis is so important.

What exactly is Plantar Fascia?

Your plantar fascia is an area of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and joints at the base of your heel and midfoot. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed when there is a restriction in the muscles fibres or lack of movement in surrounding joints.

Who is the best person to assess Plantar Fascia?

If you have heel pain, to diagnose whether it could be plantar fasciitis you need a good physical therapist, such as a physio, clinical massage therapist or osteopath who needs to look at all the joints and muscles that make up your foot and connect with the plantar fascia. They will be able to tell what is going on, and also to help you prevent plantar fasciitis inflammation from becoming more serious.

My 11 Top Tips For Treating Plantar Fasciitis:

Rapid or instant pain relief treatment for heel pain from plantar fasciitis is not usually possible. It can take weeks rather than days for heel pain inflammation to reduce. This is because it is an area that is constantly in use. However, this recovery time can be dramatically reduced to weeks, from a duration of months or years that some people struggle with plantar fasciitis.

Healthy weight to prevent Plantar Fasciitis

The brutal truth is that with Plantar fasciitis, you may need to weigh less. You will put more pressure on the plantar fascia in your feet by being overweight, and this can cause problems for the plantar fascia underneath the heel bone.

Also, toxins in your body that are stored in fat, need to be flushed out of your body to relieve inflammation throughout your systems as these toxins slow down recovery from any type of pain.

So plantar fasciitis heel pain on the bottom of your foot can be pain caused from overweight, and this can be something you can look at reducing. Even a few pounds of weight loss creating a more healthy weight can make a big difference for people with plantar fasciitis who are looking for rapid pain relief.

Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy

Getting information about how sports therapy can help resolve plantar fasciitis is essential to quick recovery and reversing the damage you are doing to your plantar fascia. It can often be repetitive movements in sports or other activities that cause your plantar fasciitis pain.

You can explore movements you can do in one foot whilst standing on the other, where you can begin to get your leg and foot muscles working better.

If you have plantar fasciitis just in one foot it can indicate that you are putting more weight down through that side of your body, and a sports therapist, or gait analyst, can help you to balance this out.

It could be that wearing more athletic shoes whilst you do your exercise is also important so that you can support your feet, whilst realigning your body. Something like this can be key to helping you to reduce pain and move more easily.

Your Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fasciitis

Finding a good physical therapist will help as they will guide you with good foot stretches and show you how to do a calf stretch that will not damage your Achilles tendon. This is the area at the base of your lower leg, and it is always tight and restricted as the plantar fascia begins in this area.

You want to improve muscle strength not only for treatment for plantar fasciitis but also to prevent the return of it, or from developing plantar fasciitis in your opposite leg.

You can also try the Get Into Your Body Course for realignment of all the joints and muscles in your feet to relieve pressure and make sure your joints and muscles are moving correctly.

Plantar Fasciitis and Gait Analysis

Gait Analysis is also something that a physical therapist may be able to look at. This will help to identify whether the way you walk is causing your Plantar Fasciitis. This is something I specialise in and I regularly advise whether the arch of your foot is moving and if it is not, what other sports medicine treatments are available to help you mobilize the area to relieve pain.

You can book a free discovery call here to find out more about this.

Plantar Fasciitis and the way your heel strikes the ground

It is always such a pleasure to see clients who feel the fast relief from plantar fasciitis by simply realigning the way their heel strikes the ground each step they take once they understand how the way their heel strikes the ground can have such an impact on their plantar fascia.

An indication of your heels striking in the wrong place is also if your toes are pointed straight ahead or slightly outwards.

It is such a simple adjustment, although it can involve needing to readjust and mobilize your pelvis and other parts of your body. There is a reason you have developed plantar fasciitis and we do not want to force a realignment in your feet if it shifts pressure to another area and causes pain there instead.

Steroid injections and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

I am not against medical intervention, however, steroid injections to treat plantar fasciitis need to be a last resort.

When this is used as a way to treat plantar fasciitis the injections will generally numb out the area and can initially relieve heel pain around the heel bone for a limited period.

This can be a false and temporary pain relief and an incorrect message that the cause of your plantar fasciitis foot pain is resolved.

Long periods of numbing the pain can mean there is a high risk of developing plantar fasciitis again, as the tight calf muscles, plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon have not been released. So pain relievers can help reduce inflammation, pain and burning sensation, but they do not necessarily increase blood flow and release the muscle fibres and connective tissue in the area.

If you have had ankle surgery, an operation on your Achilles tendon, or other reconstruction on your feet, it will be necessary to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but it is then very important to restore the biomechanics where you will begin to reprogram your body/brain with the correct way to walk.

Getting information from an ankle society or physical therapist to deal with this painful area can help. Orthopaedic surgeons should be able to refer you to these organisations.

So overall, it is very important to try out other treatments and protect your feet from overly hard surfaces before resorting to drugs that will take down inflammation in the short term, but not resolve the problem that is causing your plantar fasciitis and pain.

Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Do you wear shoes or walk barefoot when you are at home? 

You may find if you walk barefoot that you notice your pain increases. This is because you may need good arch support. After all, your foot is currently unable to mobilize.

If you walk on the floor, it can feel like a very hard surface if your foot muscles and joints are unable to help your foot flatten.

So to reduce inflammation it is good to have good arch support until you have managed to find the correct movements that will ease your plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Orthopaedic surgeons should be able to suggest which supportive shoes are appropriate after an operation.

A good Gait Analyst or Physical Therapist can assess your feet, to help you work out which athletic shoes are best for when you are exercising. You need to be able to make sure your feet can easily move in them.

Some people like to wear running shoes, as other shoes can have poor cushioning. However, if you wear running shoes, you may find they aggravate your pain unless you have high arches. This could be because the ; high arches in the shoes push against bones and muscles in your foot that are stuck.

Orthotics During the Day

Shoe inserts are a big conversation when it comes to treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Over the years I have worked with hundreds of clients who have tried shoe inserts for arch support.

When people ask my advice, I always say the same thing. ‘If you are using inserts to support a pain problem, then ideally this should be temporary as you also want to resolve the cause of this problem, rather than just support the symptom on an ongoing basis.

What exactly does that mean? Well, if your arch is stuck and unable to move, or it is so over mobile then it needs to be supported or will collapse into a flat foot, then something is not working correctly.

Understanding how your feet need to move

My goal is ALWAYS to educate you so that you have the experience of how you can strengthen your arches, enabling your foot to supinate, This also allows you to spread your arch to a flat foot so your foot can fully pronate.

You can listen to more about this in my podcast,  ‘foot pain – what makes it better’

Another way of encouraging pronation can be to use toe separators.

This is where it is important to understand a little bit about the make-up of your body and how it is designed to move. If you are interested, then I recommend that you look at the Get Into Your Body Course, which teaches you all about how the weight of your body impacts your feet and their capacity to move and support your body, as well as teaching you how to move your feet correctly.

If you look at a sprinter in the starting blocks of a running race, his feet need to have an arch to supinate so that they can push off the blocks and propel their body forward. This requires the bones and muscles in the foot to be able to move between having an arch and flattening.

Believe it or not, many people do struggle with this, and instead of your feet pushing you forward off the ground, you are having to pick up your leg and heave it forward from your hip and then slam it back onto the ground. This is all part of what can help to manifest Plantar Fasciitis and continue to cause a problem no matter what treatment you use.

So the quickest way to sort this is to understand how to move correctly.

Night Splints

Night splints may help reduce inflammation and this is a good thing. But not moving your leg and foot area too much at night will add to stiffness and lack of elasticity in your muscle fibres when you need to stand and walk the next morning.

Your body does what it is told to do, and if your brain is being programmed to not move your foot, then the muscles shorten and tighten while the lower leg and foot are sedentary.

This then puts more pressure on the Plantar Fascia when it is time to move again. Unfortunately, the Plantar Fasciitis is usually around the attachment point of the lower leg muscles that attach around the base of your heel, and because the muscles are being kept short and still during the night, most of the movement will then happen around the joint with a lot of pulling and pushing around the tendons (the attachment part of the muscle)

Keeping the leg muscles moving is key for Plantar Fasciitis

It is essential to mobilize the calf muscle area correctly during the day to keep the muscles as flexible as possible, to avoid a chronic contraction in the belly of the muscle

Overall with night splints, there is far less capacity for movement and the tendon around the plantar fascia suffers because of this.

Wearing night splint supports can also give a feeling of comfort and this may help you to relax and distract from the feeling of pain that comes from the sudden movement, or too much movement of the area.

Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

Some of these could be:

Use of Toe Separators

Toe separators could help to open up and spread the muscles and joints in your forefoot.  This can create more space and release.

They are encouraging the foot to spread which is necessary for good pronation of the foot.  You can learn how to create good pronation in you feet in the Get Into Your Body Course

Use of sock splints at night

If you use sock splints, then make sure you mobilise you feet well during the day, as keeping your feet forced into a particular position will cause other muscles to become rigid and immobile.

You can look at the Get Into Your Body Course to find out how to use the rest of your body to correctly mobilize your feet.

Various home treatments can be used to reduce pain.

Self-Treatment

Massage your feet – Trigger Point Therapy

Using a Golf ball or a tennis ball and pushing it into trigger points in your calf muscles can help and you may feel referred pain or a sense of release in the plantar fasciitis area, but keep it within a level at this 7 out of 10 or less. The use of a ball can be a good way of reminding your calf muscles fibres to release which will put less pressure on the Achilles tendon.

You can purchase my eliminating common and chronic pain kindle book which explains how to release trigger points in your muscles.

Hot and Cold Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain

The use of hot and cold therapy can be helpful to ease plantar fasciitis pain. An ice pack will help to cool the area and reduce inflammation.

Slip on and ice pack

The use of an ice pack can be very useful and it reduces inflammation, however contrast bathing where you also alternate the ice pack with heat can also be beneficial.  The combination helps to relax and contract the area, allowing blood to flow, and toxins to move away from the area.

However, it is not like when someone has a sudden specific injury. With plantar fasciitis, the pain may be from a long-term structural problem instead of something that will heal using an ice pack once the swelling goes down. With a regular injury, once the swelling and bruises go down, everything will slowly return to normal. 

With a break or sprain, you also want to be careful to not put too much pressure on the heel bone while it is healing, as this could create more foot problems in the joints and muscles if you have had an accident.

Other Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Try TEN’s Therapy

Use of pain relievers like TENS’ machines or extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which use sound waves directed to your heel are used for long-term chronic plantar fasciitis. However, this is generally only used after more conservative treatment has not worked.

It is also possible to use this form of treatment for hyperalgesia and pain around the arch of your foot DOI: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746624/ Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Plantar fasciitis. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354851 McPoil T, et al. (2008). Heel pain—plantar fasciitis. DOI: 10.2519/just)

Nutrition for Plantar Fasciitis

I spoke about being overweight in number 1, however, you could easily be a perfect weight, but still not be getting the level of nutrients you need into your body, to help nourish the body with the nutrients it needs to recover, heal and maintain itself in a good way.

Supplements – Vitamin C and Magnesium

Plantar Fasciitis will need good amounts of vitamin C to give energy and stop inflammation. You will need a good form of magnesium to relax muscle fibres and allow them to release and switch off.

Hydration and Plantar Fasciitis

You also need good levels of water and hydration to keep your muscles and all the other parts of your body working well and ease inflammation. If your muscles and plantar fascia is not hydrated it will become rope-like and easily tear.

You need to drink regularly, to keep good levels of hydration, rather than just drinking a lot all at once.

Overall, you can see there are many things you can do to help move discomfort quickly. However, the key is to get these things happening together.  

I have worked with hundreds of clients with this condition.

What to do next……  

👣 Please do book a free discovery call so we can decide on the best recovery program for you.

👣 Register For the Foot Pain Recovery Program

👣 Listen to the ‘Foot Pain – What Makes It Better Podcast’

👣 Watch Plantar Fasciitis – The Way You Walk – Change Your Gait