Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain: When Surgery Is Not An Option
It is estimated that there are nearly 2 million newly diagnosed cases of plantar fasciitis each year in the United States. Worldwide it can affect up to 10% of the population.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel with your toes. If it is strained, the ligament gets weak, swollen, and inflamed. Your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you try to do the simplest of daily activities like stand or walk.
The simplest method to treat this condition: Stretching
In most articles you will find stretching as a form of treatment for plantar fasciitis buried somewhere in between surgery and night splints. However, this is one of the easiest treatments available that you can do yourself. It just requires some motivation and commitment on your part to get better. This condition is serious and it can affect the way you live, work, and complete daily activities.
People who develop plantar fasciitis may have less flexibility in their feet and ankles or weaker foot muscles. Their feet may tend to flatten and roll inward more when they run or walk. Stretching can protect the plantar fascia from injury and inflammation by making the plantar fascia and calf muscles more flexible and by strengthening the foot and ankle muscles that support the arch.
Stretching also has other benefits aside from treating plantar fasciitis such as:
- Preventing injury
- Increasing flexibility
- Improving circulation
- Improving range of motion for your joints
- Better posture
Many people choose to purchase a stretching aid to help make stretching easier and more effective. Finding the right stretching aid can be difficult, there are many to choose from. Here are some questions you should ask before purchasing one:
Will the product keep my foot in the proper position at all times during the stretch?
Does the product stretch the Achilles tendon as well as the plantar fascia?
Will it help support my ankle to prevent injury during stretching?
Are there testimonials from physical therapists or product reviews from magazines which can support the claims of the product's effectiveness?
Does the company offer a guarantee if I am not satisfied?
Is the product made from a strong sturdy material?
With some effort on your part plantar fasciitis can be a very manageable condition. If you have any questions about stretching you should speak with your doctor or physical therapist prior to doing it.
Best of Luck!