The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that is responsible for connecting the toes and heels. It becomes swollen once too much stress is placed on the arch of the foot. Most cases of plantar fasciitis can recover as long as conservative treatment is provided in just a few months. You can enroll in one of the classes for first aid so that you can readily manage this condition.
Once the individual experiences pain in the heel or sole of one or both feet especially when waking up in the morning, there are home treatments that can help in relieving the pain. A doctor must be consulted if there is no improvement after two weeks or if the individual experiences numbness, swelling, tingling or reddening of the heels, feet or toes.
When the individual suffers from severe pain, he/she must stay off the affected feet and elevate them for several hours a day to reduce the strain on the plantar fascia. Once the individual can resume his/her exercise routine, it is important to avoid overexertion by reducing the distance travelled while running or simply switch to a low-impact activity such as cycling or swimming to avoid straining on the plantar fascia.
Application of ice
You can apply an ice pack over the sore area at 3-4 times in a day for 20 minutes at a time in order to reduce the pain and inflammation. It is best to massage the sole and heel using an ice cube several times in a day.
It is also recommended that the individual will engage in stretching exercise to minimize the tension along the arch of the foot. Always warm up first and then gently stretch without bouncing. The individual should perform 2-3 sets of each exercise on a daily basis for 6-7 days in a week. Other exercises that can help minimize the pain caused by plantar fasciitis include heel stretches, calf stretches and arch stretches.
Support of the arch
There are over-the-counter arch supports that can help relieve the tension on the plantar fascia, calf muscles and Achilles tendon by spreading the weight evenly during movement. There are some manufacturers that offer arch supports that include magnets but there is no tangible evidence that these products are more effective than those without magnets.
Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve the inflammation and pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It is best to consult a doctor if these medications are safe to be used.
Proper support for the feet
Always bear in mind that the feet can absorb a lot of pressure on a daily basis which makes them highly susceptible to injuries than other parts of the body. It is vital to wear protective and supportive shoes to maintain good foot health, especially when an injury was sustained. The shoes must have a low to moderate heel with good arch and heel support. It is not recommended to go on barefoot even inside the house and stay away from flat footwear such as ballet flat, flip flops and worn out running shoes.