If you experience heel pain, it is most likely caused by plantar fasciitis. The acute pain it brings can disrupt everyday activities and adversely affect the sufferer’s living condition. To prevent plantar fasciitis, you need to know what triggers it and how to keep it at bay.
The sole of the foot is supported and connected from the toe area to the heel by a wide tough band of ligament known as the plantar fascia. If this connective tissue is over-strained, torn, or injured, it may become inflamed and painful. This condition is plantar fasciitis.
Easy lifestyle changes to prevent plantar fasciitis
Below are some easy to follow steps to prevent fasciitis and help you stay on your feet without the pain.
Condition your feet with foot stretches
Tense calf muscles can be a factor in plantar fasciitis injury. The Achilles tendon extends from the heel bone to the calf area. Add springiness to this area by performing some limbering stretches before and after any sport activity that may require running or jumping.
Doing regular foot stretches can help strengthen the plantar fascia and thus prevent injuries from overstraining.
Perform these 3 feet limbering exercises before and after your exercise routine.
1. Stand facing a wall with your toes one foot from the wall. Press your palms against the wall and step back with one foot. Keep the rear leg straight. Lean into the wall, keeping both heels on the ground. Repeat with the other foot. As a variation to this straight leg stretch, you can bend the rear leg slightly without lifting the heel of the foot. By performing both variations, you can benefit two types of muscles in the calf area, the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
2. Sit without your shoes on. Hold your toes and slowly pull them upward until you feel the stretch in the arch of your foot. Keep this for thirty seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
3. Place a face towel, a marble, or pencil on the floor. Hold it with your toes and keep the grip for thirty seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
Limber up before any sport activity and cool down after that. This is a cardinal rule of exercising that must not be ignored.
Don’t push yourself too hard
Raise your sport activity level in a gradual manner. Pace yourself correctly while exercising. If you are getting into a new sport or gym workout, raise your physical activity progressively so you won’t put any sudden pressure on your muscles and strain on your feet.
Avoid unecessary jumping and landing heavily on your feet. If your sport activity requires jumping, wear shoes that give your feet adequate support. Exerting yourself beyond your body’s normal endurance can have a negative effect, even to your feet.
Replace your old pair of shoes
Do not use shoes with worn-out soles. If you run, toss away shoes with thin soles to protect your foot from plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Shoes with thin or worn-out soles can give your feet insufficient support and cause you to walk or run unevenly. Replace them with better ones that provide proper sole and arch support.
Consider wearing shoe inserts
If you are prone to heel pain and plantar fasciitis, you should try and use shoe inserts, also known as a foot orthosis. Daily use can provide comfort and may prevent plantar fasciitis as well as joint pain.
Avoid using high heels and flip-flops
If you are a woman, avoid wearing high-heeled shoes as they saddle your feet with unnecessary strain. If you can’t avoid wearing high-heeled shoes, make sure that their heels are two inches or less. Do not wear them for extended periods. Do not use flip-flops if you’ll do some walking or running. They won’t provide the arch support your feet needs.
Stay within your normal weight
Overweight people are at greater risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis than those who stay in their normal weight range. The more weight you carry around, the more likely your feet are to develop heel pain over time. Take steps to shed those excess pounds if you are overweight. Your heel and feet will suffer less if you give them a lighter load to carry.
Give your feet the cold treatment
At the first symptom of discomfort, apply ice on the affected area of your foot and heel. One method of applying ice is to gently roll a frozen can or water bottle under your foot. Another way of giving your feet the cold treatment is by applying an ice pack the underside of your foot. In this method, ice can be wrapped in a towel or a plastic bag. Massage the ice pack gently on the affected area of your foot for about 15 minutes. Do this 3 to 4 times daily.
Avoid walking barefoot
It is alright to walk without any footwear occasionally but you must not go barefoot for a long time. Walking without wearing proper footwear considerably raises the chances of injuring the ligaments that supports the arches of your feet. Foot bruises can also develop after stepping on stones and small rocks. Damage to the ligament can result in foot arch and heel pain.
Avoid frequent walking or standing on hard surfaces
Keep from walking, running, or standing on hard surfaces like concrete. This cannot be avoided in urban areas, however. so be sure to wear shoes with shock absorbent anti-fatigue padding to reduce the stress and prevent plantar fasciitis.
Give your foot some rest
Give your foot enough time to recover from its daily tasks. Put both your feet in an elevated position especially after exercising or any sport activity. This will prevent fluid from accumulating on your foot and lower leg, as well as allow it to recover.
Be aware of the changes in your foot
As you grow older, the fat layers of your foot tend to grow thinner. There could also be an increase in the width and length of your feet. Consult your physician if you begin to develop arthritis-related pain in your feet.
At the first sign of heel pain, apply a topical solution that is developed especially for the fast relief of plantar fasciitis. This brush-on application is HeelAid, a safe, natural, and effective treatment for heel pain formulated by a medical doctor and research scientist.
Injury to the plantar fascia ligament is the main cause of heel pain. Take care of the plantar fascia, plus follow the easy steps mentioned above to prevent plantar fasciitis.
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