If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you probably saw that I went back to the gym after a yearlong hiatus. Of course, I blame pregnancy and fluctuating hormones but now that my little peanut is out of my body, I really have no excuse. I admit, getting to the gym is hard but I set a small attainable goal and focused only on that.

I know many of you are struggling with heel pain, which can stop you from enjoying any activity. If you find yourself experiencing pain with the first few steps in the morning or after periods of sitting, you may have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of a tissue band on the bottom of the foot called plantar fascia. I have found that daily stretching exercises, orthotics (medical grade inserts available at a podiatrist’s office only), scaling down on activities that make it worse and using an anti-inflammatory medication (Advil, Medrol dose pack) helps 80% of people.

For home stretches, you want to target the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, since tightness in one area affects the next area. Try this 3 simple exercise at home, several times a day and you should start feeling better in 2-3 weeks. (Images provided by http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org)

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Stretching exercises in 1-2-3. Repeat at least twice daily.

  1. Stretch the Achilles tendon with a towel or Theraband looped around the ball of your foot while you’re sitting. Gently pull on the towel keeping your knee straight holding it for 30 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times on each foot.
    • Another option is to use stairs and dropping one heel on the edge of a step, holding the stretch for 30 seconds at a time, then switching sides.
  2. Use a frozen water bottle or a small foam roller (like Rist Roller) to massage the plantar fascia.
  3. Towel pickup: sitting in a chair, place a small towel on the ground, keeping your heel touching the floor, and pick up the towel with your toes scrunching them 10-20 times on each foot.

If pain is only mildly improved, come on in and I’ll evaluate you and offer additional treatment options, such as a night splint, custom made orthotics (inserts for your shoes to support your foot structure, I wear these myself), steroid injection(s) and/or shockwave therapy.

Not getting any better? If you have already gone through all of these conservative treatments and it is simply not enough, you may be a candidate for surgery. Other conditions mimic planar fasciitis, so don’t ignore your heel pain. We can help.

Make your appointment with us, call 831-288-3400.

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