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Best 6 Ways to Reduce Pain From Plantar Fasciitis

Best 6 Ways to Reduce Pain From Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot ailment that occurs when an inflammation of a thick band of tissue forms and connects the heel bone to the toes (Footwear News). It is usually self-diagnosable & self-treatable. The inflamed tissue runs across the bottom of the foot with the primary symptom being a stabbing pain near the heel. Plantar fasciitis happens a lot with runners and people who have flat feet, high arches, are overweight, or who are on their feet a lot.


With attentive care, the sufferer can often do these 6 things in their daily life to alleviate the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis and help your foot heal faster (Podiatry Today).

  1. Rest: Sure this one seems most obvious and easiest to implement, but as we know life often gets in the way of taking care of one’s self. General rest is critical when coping with Plantar Fasciitis and it is very important to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes down.

  2. Ice: The old standby of ice to treat inflammation still works great , and there are multiple ways that you can implement this.
  • A store bought ice pack always works great. They are relatively inexpensive and most efficient to use. One piece of advice would be to get one of minimal size as you want to focus on icing the heel area and not the entire bottom of the foot. General recommendation is to put it on your heel 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

  • Next option would be to make a homemade pack. First wrap a towel around a plastic bag filled with crushed ice or even around a package of frozen corn or peas. As with the store bought ice pack, put the homemade ice pack on your heel 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

  • Another option is to fill a shallow pan with water and ice and soak your heel in it for in it for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day. Remember to keep your toes out of the water as we want to focus primarily on the heel area.
  • Pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can make your foot feel better and help with inflammation. The most prominent NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, all available over the counter.

  • Stretching and exercise: Stretch your calvesAchilles tendon, and the bottom of your foot. Do exercises that make your lower leg and foot muscles stronger. This can help stabilize your ankle, ease pain, and keep plantar fasciitis from coming back.

  • Night splintsMost of us sleep with our feet pointed down, which shortens the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Night splints, which you wear while you sleep, keep your feet at a 90-degree angle. So instead of shortening your plantar fascia, you get a good, constant stretch while you sleep. Although night splints tend to be bulky, they work well and can help relieve pain while you sleep. Once the pain is gone, you can stop wearing them. 

  • Shoe inserts: For the daytime and your daily activities, quality shoe inserts are crucial to use. Most shoes are not factory produced with quality support for your feet. Also called insoles, arch supports, or orthotics, shoe inserts can give you extra cushion and added support that your shoes do not provide. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) or have them custom made. Typically, your results will be just as good, and less expensive with OTC inserts, but quality is still important when considering. When you choose one, adjustability is key and it is important to make sure that you can achieve a level of firmness that is right for you -- and make sure it has good arch support. Also you should choose a pair of insoles with a good heel cup that provides extra cushion.


Can You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

Once your foot feels better, you can make a few lifestyle changes to help keep plantar fasciitis from coming back. These include:

  • Losing weight. Obviously there are numerous advantages to losing weight, but as it relates to plantar fasciitis, if you're overweight or obese, you may put more pressure on the bottom of your feet. That pressure can lead to plantar fasciitis.

  • Make sure all of your footwear has good support. As important as it is to replace your athletic shoes often, it is equally important to make sure you replace your inserts when needed. Most inserts will last between 6-12 months, around the same lifetime of your athletic shoes. Ones you find the insert that works best for you, it is often helpful to buy additional pairs and have them in all of your shoes so you don’t have to move them from your works shoes, to your sneakers to your boots, etc.

  • Stay away from high heels. Wearing them can cause your plantar fasciitis to come back

  • Don’t go barefoot on hard surfaces. This includes your first few steps when you get up in the morning. It's common to feel plantar fasciitis then. So you'll want to keep some supportive footwear by your bed.

  • Do low-impact exercise. Activities like swimming or cycling won't cause plantar fasciitis or make it worse. After you're done, stretch out your calves and feet. For instance, curl and relax your toes and make circles with your feet and ankles.

  • Avoid high-impact activities. These include running and jumping, which put a lot of stress on your feet and can make your calf muscles tighter if you don't stretch them out.

  • Keep doing your leg and foot stretches. Two of these include:
  1. Stretch your calves. Stand facing a wall. Put your hands on the wall. Step one foot behind the other, keeping both feet parallel to each other. Gently lean toward the wall, keeping your back heel on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch feet. Repeat several times on each side.
  2. Stretch the bottom of your foot. Sit down and cross one foot over your other leg. Hold your toes and gently bend them backward.
  • Untuck your bedsheets. If your sheets are tucked too tightly and you sleep on your back, your feet will be in a pointed position while you sleep
    1. BEST ORTHOTIC INSOLES FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THEIR FEET

      woman rubbing feet

      People who work on their feet all day often find it takes a toll on their feet after a while. Sore feet is a common complaint from nurses, construction workers, waitstaff, teachers and many other professions. For some, the pain goes beyond just sore feet, and results in back and joint pain as well. If you’ve thought about using an insole for foot pain relief, here’s what you need to know.

      PROBLEM: STANDING FOR LONG PERIODS 

      A recent WebMD.com study showed standing all day at work takes a serious toll on lower limb health due to daily muscle fatigue and may have long-term consequences for those who have to stand for prolonged periods for their work.

      The study concluded standing up to five hours or more a day, contributes to significant and prolonged lower-limb muscle fatigue. This may raise your risk for long-term back pain and musculoskeletal disorders. This is bad news for the millions of bank tellers, retail assistants, assembly line workers, and others who earn their living standing on their feet.

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      REACTION: THE CAUSES OF FOOT PAIN FROM STANDING

      A Swiss based study pointed out that almost half of all workers worldwide spend more than three-quarters of their workday standing. They noted two hours of standing on the job is not associated with problems, but "a longer period is likely to have detrimental effects," said Maria-Gabriela Garcia, a doctoral candidate within the department of health sciences at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

      "Basically, the body does not like to have the same posture or load placed on it continuously, so change is always good," said Kermit Davis, graduate program director for environmental and occupational hygiene at the University of Cincinnati. The foot’s structure will experience misalignment and pain when supportive muscles and tendons begin to fatigue after standing for prolonged periods, most especially in the arch of the foot.

      foot arch pain area

      SOLUTIONS: SUPERIOR INSOLES FOR PEOPLE WHO STAND ALL DAY

      Shock absorbing or ‘massaging gel’ insoles provide extra cushioning when working in demanding environments, most especially on hard surfaces. A well-known maker of insoles, Dr. Scholl’s, claims “all day shock absorption, comfort and energy” from their Work Insoles product line. This type of insole absorbs foot impacts and redistributes these forces over larger surface area, to cushion the foot and lessen the impact of standing all day. The company also claims to “reduce muscle fatigue in feet and legs.” Sounds great if it works!

      Most workers, especially those 45 years of age and over, require more than just shock absorption and a massaging gel. They also need foot support to make up for what they lack anatomically due to age and to allow them to comfortably stand throughout a demanding workday.

      selectFlex insoles

      One such innovative insole that meets the needs of older workers is SelectFlex. This unique insole has a ‘PowerLift Arch™’ that actually lifts your arch upwards throughout the entire day to constantly support the foot and maintain the structure of arch. If you have sore feet from standing all day, this sounds like manna from heaven.

      SelectFlex partnered with the largest orthotic manufacturer in North America and is the only arch-adjustable insole on the market. SelectFlex provides 3 comfort settings to suit your demanding needs. The tagline is “Dial-In Comfort/Adjust Away the Pain!” Jean Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise, famous said, “Make it so!”

      A constantly-lifting arch provides all-day comfort that keeps you feeling more energized, helps reduce muscle fatigue in feet and legs, and allows you to stay on your feet longer. This is the most comfortable insoles on the market and worth a try.

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      ON YOUR FEET ALL DAY? HOW THIS NURSE REDUCED HER FOOT AND BACK PAIN

      doctor consultation

      I love being a healthcare professional making a difference in improving patient’s lives and health. As a peri-operative nurse standing for long periods in the operating room, foot pain is the bane of every nurse’s existence. Even if you start your day with an infectious smile and positive attitude, being on your feet the entire 12-hour shift can turn even the most cheerful nurse into a grumpy one.

      As I grow older, I constantly struggle with the physical demands of static posture, from continually standing in one position during lengthy surgical procedures and or awkward postures from tilting the head downwards for long periods of time.

      Other workplace challenges range from carrying heavy instrument trays, bending down to reach the sterile field while scrubbed, assisting surgeons or the worst part of standing on hard work surfaces such as concrete, creating repetitive strain and pain in the feet from lack of arch support.

      All surgical personnel are at risk for work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Simple foot and ankle pain can lead to disability and puts our careers at risk. But as we in the medical profession know, prevention is better than the cure.

      The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) recently published a position statement outlining ergonomically healthy workplace practices. It outlined strategies to reduce the risk of repetitive injuries and provides guidelines for developing a preventative plan for an ergonomically healthy perioperative environment. Proper arch support was listed as one of the most important preventative health factors.

      A COMMON PROBLEM

      Imagine walking through the physical therapy (PT) department and seeing your coworker, a peri-operative nurse of 25 years, as the patient. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than you think. Thirty-eight percent of nurses suffer from back pain so severe they must take time off from work and to 12% of nurses have such severe back pain that they must leave nursing altogether.

      Past surveys have shown up to 54% of workplace injuries among nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides were musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The U.S. Department of Labor defines MSDs as injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs.

      A recent study of 636 Japanese University nurses found foot and ankle pain was prevalent in 24% to 51% of staff. Respectively, the study also showed the prevalence of pain that prevented the nurses from performing daily living and work-related activities at 4% and 17%.

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      SOME GREAT NEWS

      According to Nurse.com, 45% of women, 65% of men nurses wear running shoes to work. If you use this type of shoe, you can add a supportive insole that provides the kind of arch support you need to help reduce pain.

      For me, having better arch support was the best way I found to prevent tired, painful feet, legs, and lower back at the end of a long shift. When my arches are properly supported, my whole body, and especially lower back, are aligned. I even noticed less neck pain. The best part was that without all this pain I felt like I had more energy at the end of the day.

      There are a lot of shoe inserts out there that promise to provide arch support, but not all of them deliver. When I came across SelectFlex and saw it was customizable, I gave it a try. It’s PowerLift Arch dynamically lifts your foot arch with each step and corrects the foot’s tendency to roll inwardly or pronate. Up to 80% of the population’s feet tend to pronate, which throws off the body’s alignment. This gives you painful feet at the end of the day from misalignment. Plus, it’s adjustable so you can choose the level of support that works best for your feet.

      Other inserts also fail to address the impacts of walking on a hard surface all day. I found SelectFlex stabilized my ankle as I walked, absorbing the impact throughout the day. For healthcare professionals who are constantly walking on hard hospital floors, this is a great product.

      If you’ve ever looked into medical orthotics, you know how expensive they can be. What sealed the deal for me was when I learned SelectFlex costs one quarter of what medical orthotics cost. If you want to feel better, be more active and more productive, take a look at SelectFlex online at www.selectflex.com.

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