How to Manage and Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Added by Katie Boushie on January 22, 2013.
Common in long distance runners, Plantar Fasciitis can be a real pain. Fascia is a fibrous connective material that surrounds the body’s muscles, blood vessel s and nerves, and the plantar fascia runs from the base of the calcaneus (heel bone) to the toes. Fasciitis refers to inflammation, which will cause heel pain.
Courtesy of http://www.ssrehab.com
Plantar Fasciitis will present with pain in the base of the heel. Discomfort is usually worse in the morning, after standing or sitting for a long period of time, or following strenuous activity. Many factors may contribute to this inflammation including; obesity, sudden changes in training, a tight Achilles tendon, shoes with poor support, or foot anatomical abnormalities. Rehabilitation of Plantar Fasciitis can be a long process, so immediate attention is extremely beneficial.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis may take several weeks to a year for complete recovery. With athletes that show no signs of improvement, surgery may be recommended. However, conservative treatment through exercises, icing and stretching is usually beneficial. Because tightness can increase probabilities of fasciitis, stretching is very important. A basic calf stretch, with both the leg straight and slightly bent, will target the muscles in the lower leg and the Achilles tendon. Additionally, a specialized splint can be worn on the foot at night to give a continuous stretch. It is important to stretch the inflamed fascia; this is best accomplished by rolling a golf ball under the bottom of the foot. Icing Plantar Fasciitis is also beneficial, ideally twice a day and for 15-20 minutes, rolling a frozen water bottle under the foot works very well. All rehabilitation treatments combined, symptoms nearly always improve.
Stretching, exercises and ice help improve Plantar Fasciitis symptoms.
Sometimes athletes are more prone to develop Plantar Fasciitis symptoms. Correcting any anatomical problems with orthotics and using proper footwear with good support can help with reoccurrence. Most importantly, Plantar Fasciitis may take a while to treat so it is crucial to treat symptoms as soon as they arise.