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It can be one of the most debilitating pains because your feet are something you just can’t stop using or rest, plantar fasciitis is a stickler. At some point in the day you have to face your pain and experience stiffness, inflammation and sharp knives in the bottom of your heel or foot.
We’ve researched 10 ways you can try and reduce the pain and progression of plantar fasciitis.
1. Stretch the fascia & calf.
Prevention of painful steps in the morning or after workouts and running can make plantar fasciitis and heel spurs more manageable and reduce pain over time. Stretching is a great way to keep that plantar fascia & calf muscles loose. One stretch can be done with a towel or belt and can be done in the morning while still in bed or even before or after workouts. Take the towel or belt and place it on the ball of the foot and slowly pull towards yourself until you feel pressure in the lower part of your leg or calf. Do this is sets from 3 – 5 holding this stretch for 15 – 30 seconds. Another stretch is more specific to your plantar fascia and should be done just like the towel and belt stretch in reps and time. Simply use your hands and grab your toes and pull the up with your hand until you feel a tightness from your heel to the ball of your foot. Some people find it easier to do this type of stretch on a stair in your house. To do the stair stretch for your plantar fascia stand on the step with your toes on the top of the step and let your heels drop down off the step and do this in reps and hold for 15 – 30 seconds. Using a wall in your house can also help you stretch the foot properly by placing your toes up against the wall and holding that stretch for 15 – 30 seconds. Some people prefer to use a tennis ball in this stretch method inbetween your foot and the wall, push until you feel pressure in the ball to heel of your foot. Do these stretches daily, if not multiple times a day.
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2. Cold Compress
There are many different ways to go about doing a cold compress to reduce inflammation in your plantar fasciitis. As you can see in the graphic below you can use different products on the market that help you to target the fascia and different areas of your foot. Some of the products are helpful like Icy Feet because it holds the ice on your foot. But really at the end of the day, you don’t need fancy products to apply ice multiple times a day to a flared up plantar fasciitis problem or heel spurs, you can just use a towel and some ice.
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3. Frozen Golf Ball Technique
Another method to help battle the pains and tightness caused from plantar fasciitis is using a golf ball. You can put the golf ball in the freezer and use it in the morning and the night to help loosen up the tight tissue in your foot as roll it around from front to back. Focus on areas of the foot to get them loose individually and advance to rolling the frozen ball under your entire foot.
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4. Frozen Bottle
The next time you have a plantar fasciitis flare up or sharp pains in your heel, it’s time to head to the freezer. Everyone has access to a water bottle, freeze that sucker in the freezer and then you’ll use it to roll under the arch of your foot. Make sure your foot has been stretched for 5 – 10 minutes & warmed up.
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5. Shoes Made For Plantar Fasciitis
Custom made shoes are changing the way people deal with this pain. With all the people suffering from plantar fasciitis pain, it’s amazing how many people don’t take the step to purchase a pair of shoes, sandles or footwear designed exactly for plantar fasciitis problems. Some lines of shoes call it biomechanical footwear offering neutral support, medial support and fascia stabilization. Many shoe lines have built in heel cup supports that hug your heel and prevent strain on your feet.
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6. Arch Support Inserts
People suffering from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs can help prevent or reduce the inflammation by using proven arch supports that are also called orthotics, insoles and footbeds. Checking the reviews on these products can help you decide on their proven ability to help people with their ongoing plantar fasciitis pain. Technology is quickly advancing with better analysis of foot pressure, pronation and supination in your foots every day layout. These plantar fasciitis supports are designed to place the foot in correct anatomical alignment and reduce strain from your plantar fascia. Some popular brands that have been proven with tests and reviews are ones like Tread Labs, Super Feet, Powerstep, Syono Orthotic Gel Insoles, Tender Soles, Dr. Scholl’s, Airplus, Sorbothane and Airr Sof products. You need to make certain that you try multiple different products and don’t keep what doesn’t work, just return it. Different arch support products can be expensive but the dramatic effects they can have on your pain can be life changing.