Foot fact: Your plantar fascia is a very strong band of tissue that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It also helps support the arch of your foot. Everyone has a plantar fascia, but if this tissue becomes inflamed, it leads to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis.
According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, over two million Americans are diagnosed with this condition each year.
Plantar fasciitis can make it painful to walk, especially the first steps of the morning. At the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, we recommend you come to see us any time that your foot bothers you especially if you immediately feel pain when you wake up and get out of bed.
If plantar fasciitis is causing problems for you, we can help.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you live more comfortably with plantar fasciitis.
What’s causing your foot pain?
You can think of your plantar fascia as the shock absorbers in your feet. So it’s no surprise that your feet hurt when your plantar fascia is irritated and inflamed. There are a few underlying conditions that can contribute to plantar fasciitis, including:
- Flat feet
- Increasing your walking, jogging, or running miles very suddenly
- Wearing unsupportive shoes
- Being overweight
If you suspect, for example, that unsupportive shoes are the culprit, it’s a good idea to invest in a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes. We might also suggest orthotics, especially if flat feet are contributing to your discomfort.
Try foot exercises
If it’s painful to step out of bed in the morning, try doing a few stretches — before you even place your foot on the floor.
Here’s what you can do:
- Sit up in bed and pull up your impacted foot (cross your bad leg over your good leg)
- Grab the toes on your impacted foot
- Slowly and gently, pull your toes closer to you
- You should feel a controlled stretch of the plantar fascia
- Hold the stretch for a count of 10
- Repeat the stretch up to 20 more times before you get out of bed
Once you’re out of bed, you can try a calf stretch (against the wall). To complete these stretches, face the wall and lean. Keep one knee straight with that heel flat on the ground. Place your other leg slightly forward and bend the knee slightly. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Like the first stretch, hold this one for a count of 10, release, and repeat up to 20 times.
If you’re on your feet all day, it’s common to experience foot pain. If you must stand long hours at work, try taking a few breaks to rest your feet. You can complete the foot exercises mentioned above while you’re resting your feet.
In addition to taking breaks when needed, it’s also important to take rest days during athletic training. For example, if you’re running every day, be sure to take a day to rest and recover. Adding too many miles too quickly can put a lot of strain on your feet.
Wear night splints
Night splints can keep your foot in the appropriate position while you sleep. The splint is designed to gently keep your plantar fascia stretched so that the morning pain is diminished.
Get the podiatric care you need
Sometimes at-home remedies aren’t enough to relieve pain. Cortisone injections can help reduce inflammation so you can walk comfortably again. Whether you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis or another foot ailment, the team at Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois is on a mission to help keep your feet healthy and happy.
Give us a call at 217-787-2700 to request an appointment at one of our six convenient locations. You can also use our online scheduling tool to book today!