Causes of heel pain include plantar fasciitis, but they aren’t limited to this condition. Are you suffering from garden-variety passing heel pain, or something more serious?
Plantar fasciitis symptoms
It’s difficult to mistake plantar fasciitis for something else when it happens to you. You’ll feel a sharp pain near the heel of your foot. Often, plantar fasciitis symptoms are at their worst when you first wake in the morning, or after you’ve been standing or walking for a long period of time.
If it happens once, it’s probably not plantar fasciitis. But if you notice that your heels ache routinely in the mornings and after activity, you should start treating your problem and consult with a physician. Plantar fasciitis is completely manageable; there are many things you can do at home to relieve the pain.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms in the morning
Before you get out of bed every morning, practice heel exercises and stretches while laying down. These morning therapy sessions will help prevent the sharp pain you may experience when you step out of bed first thing in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms are caused by strain and inflammation of the ligaments in the foot. As you sleep, these ligaments may tighten up — this is why your symptoms may be especially painful once you awaken. Before you step out of bed, lay flat on your back and lift you leg in the air. Keep your knee straight and flex your foot to get a good stretch. After you stretch, leave your leg straight up and use your toes to draw letters in the air and perform little toe crunches. Moving your toe around in this fashion will help to stretch the ligaments deep in the foot.
Treat plantar fasciitis
There are lots of ways to treat plantar fasciitis, and they don’t all involve laying in bed. In addition to foot stretches that return pliability to the ligaments, you’ll need to break down the scar tissue in your foot. Massage the pained area regularly to break down the tissue and repair your feet.
Night splints can be very effective in preventing the morning heel pain that plagues so many plantar fasciitis sufferers. The splints keep your muscles elongated, to prevent them from tightening up while you sleep. You must be fitted for a night splint by a specialist. The Strassburg sock, a similar device, supports your feet at a 90-degree angle.
Protect feet from plantar fasciitis pain with cushioning, supportive orthotic inserts. Constant pounding on the heels from stepping and activity harms the ligaments; the inserts guard against this problem.