How high is your need for Plantar Fasciitis arch support?
While there are many things to consider when calculating your risk for Plantar fasciitis, there are 5 factors that contribute to Plantar fasciitis and can significantly increase your risk. Ask yourself these 5 simple questions and if you answer yes to more than 2 of these questions, you may have an abnormally high risk for Plantar fasciitis:
Are you between 40-60? Studies show that most patients suffer from Plantar fasciitis when they are between ages 40-60. This may be due to the fact that the tissue in the foot is ageing, but the demand on the foot and heels has not decreased.
Do you engage in high-impact exercise? Choosing exercise that puts a lot of stress on your heels and other tissues in your feet can increase your chances of heel pain. The highest impact activities are running, dance and aerobics. This variable is perhaps the easiest one to change. Why not try a low-impact exercise and be kind to your feet?
Are your feet “abnormal”? If you have flat feet, a high arch or any other unusual conditions, your chances of Plantar fasciitis are much higher. Another important thing to consider is the way you walk. If your gait distributes your weight abnormally you may add stress to your heels and cause Plantar fasciitis. Don’t worry, there are a number of options for correction both problems.
Are you overweight? Each extra pound puts strain on your feet and increases your chances of Plantar fasciitis. Even a 5 percent weight loss can trigger significant relief in Plantar fasciitis if you already suffer, or help prevent it if you do not already have symptoms. If you do decide to lose weight, remember to chose low impact exercise so you don’t make your Plantar fasciitis worse!
Are you spending hours on your feet? Consider your occupation. Do you spend most of your time standing still on concrete or other hard floors? This can cause severe strain and eventual damage to your feet and contributes to your chances of suffering from Plantar fasciitis.
How did you do on the quiz? If you have a high risk, don’t worry! There are a number of steps you can take to prevent Plantar fasciitis if you don’t suffer from it, and there are many ways to find relief if you are already experiencing pain from it.
Professional treatment options Plantar fasciitis?
If you suffer from Plantar fasciitis you can discuss a number of treatment options with your doctor. Your options range from simple physical therapy to surgery and it is important to discuss them carefully with your doctor to make sure that you get the help that is right for you. As a rule, patients find that they are feeling better within months.
If you suffer from Plantar fasciitis, chances are you have already tried over-the counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin, or Aleve. They are recommended for both easing your pain and the inflammation in the tissue in your heels, your doctor can prescribe them in larger doses as needed.
If you are still suffering, there are a variety of stretches your doctor can show you, as well as small strengthening movements that allow your feet the build the muscle around the tissue in your heels. Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist who will help you stretch your ankles and heels to give your legs and feet a chance to heal properly under more careful supervision.
There are two different kinds of apparatus your doctor may recommend as well, night splints and orthotics. Night splints stretch your legs and your foot all through the night, and has been very effective in treating Plantar fasciitis, but can be uncomfortable for some sleepers. Orthotics are another option, they help transform your walking gait, changing the way that your weight is distributed.
More complicated options
If the simpler options haven’t worked, there are other options. Steroid shots, for example, can be given for short term relief but can have negative long-term effects as they can injure your feet and heels. Shock wave therapy directs sound waves at the area but isn’t often used as it can cause unpleasant side effects including pain, bruises, and swelling. Surgery is the final option, and very few people need it. If you need surgery, your doctor will detach the muscle from the bone. It’s a last resort because it will weaken the arch support in your foot.
Generally, Plantar fasciitis is very treatable and most who suffer from it find that they feel better within a few months with proper care.
Home remedies for Plantar fasciitis
If you suffer from Plantar fasciitis, there are a number of things you can do at home to ease your discomfort. Try these simple steps:
Stretches For relief of Plantar fasciitis, you can stretch your toes and your calves. To stretch your toes, sit down in a chair and put your leg out in front of you. Put your heel flat on the floor. Slowly reach down and pull your big toe toward you, be sure to pull slowly. Don’t let go for 15-30 seconds. You can also place your feet against a wall. This is a great stretch that can be done during the day, maybe against the office wall. Hold the arch and heel flat and count to 10. Repeat a few times, remember to do this daily.
You can also stretch your calves. Try this. Stand with your body facing a wall. Take a step back with one leg, keeping the heels of both feet on the floor. Remember to move slowly and don’t let go for 15-30 seconds. Both of these exercises strengthen the tissues and muscles in your heels and can be repeated several times a day.
Ice There are a number of tricks you can try with ice to relieve Plantar fasciitis pain. Note: It is very important to stretch your arch before you ice your feet. One option is to freeze a water bottle and roll it under the arch. Another cold strategy is to take a frozen golf ball and roll it underfoot. It’s best to begin from the front of the foot and work backwards. Put as much pressure as is comfortable on each location of the foot including the middle and both sides for around 15 seconds. When you are done, roll the golf ball over the entire bottom of your foot.
Be diligent Most people who suffer from Plantar fasciitis experience the worst pain in the morning. Since it is fresh on your mind, this is a great time to stretch and ice your feet. Whatever you decide to do for your feet, be sure to be consistent for best results.
Experiment Patients who have the most success with relieving their Plantar fasciitis have used a combination of several different remedies. It’s important to experiment to find out what combination works for you.
Remember to consult with your doctor about all home remedies, and call immediately if your symptoms get worse.
Preventing Plantar fasciitis
Invest in good shoes Take a good look at the shoes that you are wearing. Are they worn out? Turn them over. Have they worn evenly on both feet? If they cause your feet pain, throw them out. When you go shopping for new shoes, look for shoes with a sole that is well cushioned, remember that Plantar fasciitis is an inflamed heel so you want to provide as much comfort as possible. It’s important that you select shoes with lots of arch support, and remember that you should put orthotics in both shoes if you decide to wear them, as it helps keep your walking pattern even.
Be kind to your feet Once you have identified that Plantar fasciitis is the cause of your foot pain, it is important to be aware of what will make your symptoms worse. Try not to stand for extended periods of time. If you have to stand, be aware of where you are standing. Hard surfaces like concrete or tile floors are exceptionally bad for Plantar fasciitis and will cause your symptoms to worsen. Remember to wear good shoes for exercise and walking. If you are a female, think twice about high heels.
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