Plantar fasciitis causes stiffness and shooting pains through the bottom of your foot -- mainly in the heel area. This stiffness and pain can make walking difficult and running nearly impossible. While many cases of plantar fasciitis tend to disappear on their own after a week or two of taking it easy, others are more stubborn. If you have plantar fasciitis that just won't go away, here are some tips to help ease the pain.
Purchase a splint.
If you visit a local pharmacy, you can likely find a splint made specifically for plantar fasciitis sufferers. It is designed to support your arch; taking pressure off your plantar fascia when you stand or walk. Purchase one of these splints and wear it from morning until night inside your shoe. Taking the pressure off your plantar fascia may be what it needs to finally relax and heal.
Soak your foot.
Plantar fasciitis is, by definition, an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The pain and stiffness are a result of the inflammation; so if you can get the swelling to go down, you'll be a lot more comfortable. A great way to reduce swelling in any structure in the foot is to soak it in a warm Epsom salts bath. The Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is absorbed through your skin and into the muscle and connective tissues in your foot. This helps relax your foot and reduce inflammation, easing your symptoms. Try to do an Epsom soak every evening until your plantar fasciitis has subsided.
Plantar fasciitis is typically caused, at least in part, by tight calves. When your calf is tight, the muscles along the back of the calf pull upward on your heel, putting strain on your plantar fascia. If you can loosen up your calves, your plantar fascia will be under less pressure, so you'll have an easier time healing.
An easy way to stretch your calves is to stand at the edge of a stair. Let your heels hang off the back of the stair, and sink your weight down into them, lengthening your calf. Hold the position for 15 - 20 seconds, and then rest. Repeat this exercise 10 - 12 times a day.
If your plantar fasciitis pain does not go away within a few weeks of practicing these tips regularly, talk to your podiatrist. They may recommend cortisone injections to jump-start your healing process. For more information, contact a local clinic like Elkhorn Foot and Ankle Clinic PLLC.