Plantar fasciitis is common in athletes as well as in professions that require being on your feet for a very long time. As with most injuries ending in “itis” it begins as an inflammation of the body part but can progress to a more difficult, chronic problem. Inflammatory injuries that are not treated properly early on can cause changes to the body tissue that are much more difficult to get rid of.
How can you tell if you have plantar fasciitis? The classic symptoms are:
– pain along the bottom of the foot, especially the bottom part of the heel.
– that is worse with the very first few steps in the morning
– and gradually improves throughout the day.
However, those are the symptoms that you will notice early on. As the condition worsens, the pain might not get better throughout the day.
Plantar fasciitis is “invisible” and you won’t really see anything if you look at the bottom of your foot. It won’t appear bruised or swollen. However if you use one hand to bend your toes upward, you may notice an increase in your pain. An athletic trainer, doctor, or physical therapist will know just the right places to press on the foot in order to make the official diagnosis.
If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis, I recommend getting seen by a professional, but if it has just recently started, here are some things you can do for yourself to see if it will resolve:
– set aside a “treatment time” that begins with warming up your foot. I recommend soaking the foot (or feet if it is both) in comfortably hot water and moving your feet and ankles around.
– roll the bottoms of your feet on a ball and roll out your calves with a foam roller
– stretch your calves on a wall
– give yourself a little foot massage with intention – hold your thumb in one spot on the bottom of your foot while flexing and extending your toes. Do this for a few seconds and then move on to another spot.
– at the end of the day, roll your feet on a frozen plastic water bottle.
Don’t worry yet if all of these recommendations do not make perfect sense – photos and videos will be coming soon to our social media channels! Or make an appointment to get a plan that is customized for you and a treatment session so you don’t have to do it yourself!