Starring Plantar Fasciitis
I remember my first run-in with Plantar Fasciitis, pun intended. I had just finished my first Ironman and after the normal aches and pains subsided I noticed a new pain. Not the good kind of pain either. It was a deep pain and felt more like an injury.
I of course I ignored it for weeks before eventually landing myself in Physical Therapy diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. I had only heard of Plantar Fasciitis but really didn’t know what it was. My symptoms were a deep pain just in front of my heal. Worse in the morning, then gradually subsiding before getting worse again in the evening.
A quick Google search revealed I was not alone with over 2 million people a year suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. So much so it’s the leading cause of foot pain for adults.
Oh I almost forgot…Plantar Fasciitis SUCKS!
What Is Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the thick band of tissue (called fascia) at the bottom of your foot. This band of fascia runs from your heel to your toes, according to WebMD.
All I knew was that Plantar Fasciitis was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. Stifling my activity and negatively impacting my overall health. I knew I had to find a solution.
Causes and Risk Factors
Take this list from WebMD with a grain of salt as I myself didn’t fall into any of these categories. They failed to mention that Plantar Fasciitis is very common in runners.
- Aged 40-60 years old
- Have Flat feet or high arches
- Have tight Achilles tendon
- Spend a lot of time on your feet
- Wear high-healed shoes
Runner’s World had an explanation that fit the bill a bit better. Guilty as charged!
Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by drastic or sudden increases in mileage, poor foot structure, and inappropriate running shoes, which can overload the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that runs from your heel to the base of your toes), resulting in heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis-related heel pain tends to strike those who overtrain, neglect to stretch their calf muscles, or overdo hill work and speedwork. “When you have very tight calf muscles, they will pull on the plantar fascia and cause a lot of pain,” says Jordan Metzl, M.D., sports medicine physician.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Plantar Fasciitis can become a nagging problem and should not be ignored. The longer you wait the more difficult it can be to correct.
As always consult a medical professional especially if symptoms do not subside.
This is not intended to be medical advice
Decrease Swelling and Inflammation
The first step in getting ahead of this beast is to decrease the swelling and inflammation that is causing the tightness and pain.
Simply applying cold packs to the bottom of your foot is a great start. Or better yet throw a ball in the freezer like our FootFixx.
Gently roll the ball around on the bottom of your foot. If it’s too painful to use the ground you can simply press the ball into your foot with your hand. Eventually as your foot loosens you can apply more pressure by rolling the ball around on the floor.
Stretching and Massage
To prevent further episodes stretching the fascia, as well as the Achilles tendon, are essential. A great method for loosening and stretching the fascia is to use a ball.
Place the ball on the floor and roll your foot about on the ball pressing down as tolerated. This action helps to elongate the Fascia that is too tight.
Check out the video below for some great Achilles and calf stretches
So What Has Worked For Me
I find that a variety of different shaped and sized balls for foot rolling is ideal. If I feel a little pain coming on I start using the frozen ball several times a day along with stretching. A frozen water bottle works great as well.
Even when you’re feeling good you MUST keep doing the above exercises, especially the stretching and rolling of your foot.
Plantar Fasciitis Massage Tools
If you’re looking for a great whole body and foot massage solution we’ve got just the tool for you.
Meet the One and Only FootFixx
- Smooth Lacrosse ball for ice therapy and Deep Tissue Massage
- Two different spike ball sizes – Red ball has sharper spikes while the gray is softer.
- These balls are tough and won’t flatten under full body weight.
- Let’s not forget, these are great for massaging anywhere on the body
- Stiff neck? Sore muscles from a tough workout?
- Get back to your active lifestyle with these simple massage tools.
Here’s our favorite Physical Therapist putting the FootFixx to use
At FlexFixx we are dedicated to creating high-quality and innovative products that help people with their overall health and wellness. As we like to say at FlexFixx…
If you feel good, we feel good!