How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis
If you’ve had plantar fasciitis, you now how crippling it can be. My hope today is that you will leave with practical solutions to speed up the recovery process.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects the ball of your foot to your heel. If you dorsiflex your toes (pull them up), you can feel this thick fascia band on the bottom of your foot. But when someone says, “I have plantar fasciitis,” they mean to say that that tissue underneath their foot is causing pain.
The plantar fascia can become inflamed after simple workouts. If pain is only managed (and not resolved), the fascia can actually tear. This pain is extremely uncomfortable and feels like a heated, stabbing sensation. Micro tears will happen before bigger, more significant tears.
It’s safe to say that if you feel pain, stop that movement in a workout and find a modification. Then, begin a consistent regimen of prevention or treatment protocols.
The earlier you do something about the inflamation, the better. If you feel plantar fascia pain, I recommend taking one of the following three courses of action:
First, massage. The best massage is done by a professional, but you can simply do this on your own if you don’t want to make a special trip. Take either a lacrosse ball or baseball (anything hard and round), and place it between the ground and your foot. Roll your foot around on the ball until you find a pain spot. Once you find the pain spot, plantar flex your toes down (try to get your heel and all five toes touching the ground at the same time). Then, do the same thing to your calf (minus the toe flexion).
Second, taping. I recommend buying KT tape off of Amazon and then watching their YouTube videos on how to properly tape your foot. Leave that on for a few days (shower and sleep with it on). You will be surprised how much good this will do.
Third, buy a new pair of shoes. I love the Nike metcons, but they don’t flex much on running and jumping workouts. If a workout doesn’t include any weight lifting, I almost always wear my pair of Brooks running shoes — they provide great arch and heel support. When in doubt, prioritize comfort over feel.
Jill Berg, a physical therapist out of the Iowa Clinic, is a great resource for all things related to the foot and ankle. I first learned of these five stretches from her:
Lightly rest your hands on a wall or counter for support and stand with one foot forward and one foot back. Bend your front knee and lunge forward from your hips, keeping your back upright. Keep your back leg pointed straight forward and your knee straight and press your heel down on the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
Stand at the wall or counter for support and raise onto your toes, then lower your heels back to the ground slowly. Go up and down until your feet are fatigued. Perform two or three sets. You can also stand on one foot with your heels hanging off the edge of a step so that they can drop lower.
Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Loosen the plantar fascia by rolling the bottom of your foot along a frozen water bottle or rolling pin. Do this for two to three minutes.
Sit in a chair and cross your bad foot over the opposite knee. Pull back on your toes to stretch the bottom of your foot. Hold it for 10 seconds while massaging the bottom of your foot. Repeat three times.
Sit in a chair and place a towel on the floor under your painful foot. Curl your toes toward your body and work to scrunch up the towel. Repeat 10 times.
It can take a while for your fascia to fully recover and your foot pain to fade away. But with a daily routine, you will heal much faster.
Pain is a great sign that something needs fixed — but don’t let that stop you from exercising. Last year I dealt with plantar fasciitis for almost three months but I never missed a day of working out. I regularly followed preventative efforts.
Suffice it to say, you can always find a substitute to the movements that cause pain in a workout. Plantar fasciitis should never be used as an excuse to stop working out.
Like all things in health and fitness, you need to be consistent in your preventative and treamtent protocols.