A thick tissue called plantar fascia can be found at the heel bone extending to the ball of the foot. This is an important tissue for it helps to keep the arch of the foot in good condition and acts a ‘major transmitter of weight across the foot as you walk or run.’ But sometimes the tissue can get inflamed and worn out. When this happens it can cause severe pain especially after you wake up in the morning and begin walking around. When your plantar fascia gets inflamed, worn out and causes pain it’s called ‘plantar fasciitis.’
Plantar Fasciitis is not a serious problem but if not treated during the early stages it can lead to heel spur. So what is a heel spur? Heel spur also known as calcaneal spur is a bony projection which forms at the point where the plantar fascia is connected to the heel bone. It’s only by getting an x-ray can a heel spur be detected.
To treat plantar fasciitis at home soak the affected foot in warm water for 15 minutes which has 1 tablespoon salt added to it. Then wipe dry. Next do any of the following exercises. Some experts claim plantar fasciitis sufferers should avoid adding heat to the foot since it can make it worse. So keep this in mind. You can pass the warm salt water soak and go straight to doing the exercises. Personally I have found the warm salt water soak and doing the exercises right after has brought much needed relief to my troubled heel.
1) Stand with your toes on the edge of a stair step. Make sure to support yourself by keeping one hand on the stair railing or wall to avoid falling. Lower your heels slowly to the ground to stretch it. Return back to the original position and repeat the exercise. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
2) Place a tennis ball under the foot and begin rolling it back and forth for 30 seconds. Do this exercise for about 3 minutes every day.
It can take between 3 months to a year to treat plantar fasciitis. People who are overweight and those who wear the wrong kind of footwear are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.
© Suranee Perera 2012