Anyone who has suffered from plantar fasciitis knows how frustrating this injury can be. Suffering from it means getting up in the morning and the first contact of the affected foot with the ground makes you see the stars.
And so one day and another day and another day for months or even years. So long, that in the end you end up wondering if at some point that sharp pain next to the heel that at times causes you a slight limp and prevents you from fully enjoying the sport or even a simple walk will disappear.
But what exactly is the plantar fascia? The fascia is a ligament that connects the heel to the metatarsal area and performs different functions. The most important is to maintain the plantar arch during walking and the absorption of the forces that produce impact, in addition to helping the correct mobility of the foot .
Therefore, fasciitis is the injury that occurs when this ligament “becomes inflamed in part of its course, and consequently, causes pain and functional impotence” . As Dr. Benamar explains, this dysfunction has a higher incidence “in people who regularly do sports and in those with flat feet”, although it is also frequent among people over 45 who do little physical activity and “in women who abuse from the use of heels and abruptly go on to wear flat shoes”.
In all these cases, “the pain can appear progressively or present an acute picture”, but the truth is that “it starts with pain in the plantar area of the heel, with a pricking sensation.” In addition, according to Benamar, “it is very common for the painful symptoms to also hurt or worsen when wearing flat shoes that do not have support.”
Regarding the treatment of the injury, the doctor lists five recommendations that will help alleviate the pain and shorten the recovery time:
strong>- Rest. “Avoid prolonged exercise or standing for a long time.”
– Stretching and cold. “It’s key to perform fascial stretching exercises and apply cold for 10-15 minutes several times a day.”
– Templates. “The use of personalized insoles made after a biomechanical study is very important”
– Physiotherapy. “Manual treatment with physiotherapy is very fundamental and gives good results combined with insoles.”
– Personalized treatments. Depending on factors such as age, physical activity, pain, inflammation, foot deformity… “treatments may vary: infiltrations, physical therapy, rehabilitation, stretching…”, argues Pie’s medical director Vital.
If the problem is diagnosed and treatment is started early, the recovery time from fasciitis can be reduced to about two months. On the other hand, “in the cases in which fasciosis is suffered, which is chronic fasciitis, the pain can improve in longer periods, up to a year and sometimes without completely eliminating the pain”, concludes Sara Benamar.
Of the five points that the treatment of fasciitis includes, rest, stretching and the application of cold are the only ones that can be developed at home , on a daily basis and without professional help, so it is very important to apply them constantly to shorten those recovery periods. These are some of the stretching exercises that specialists usually recommend:
– Roll objects with the foot. The foot affected by the fasciitis is removed and a ball, a bottle of water or a can of soda is rolled on the floor, so that the rubbing of these objects with the sole of the foot massages the fascia and relieves pain and ache. inflammation. If that bottle or that can is just taken out of the fridge, the effect of the massage is added to the application of cold.
Crumple up a towel. Also, with bare feet, a towel is placed on the floor and the exercise consists of trying to wrinkle it by moving the toes. Thus, it is possible to mobilize the joints in the area and tone the musculature of the sole of the foot.
Stretch the fascia. Any exercise that helps stretch the plantar fascia to reduce stress on the arch of the foot can be beneficial. It can be done in many ways. For example, holding the heel with one hand while the other bends the toes towards the tibia. Another way to do it is, again, using a towel. Grasped by the ends, it is wrapped around the sole of the foot in the area between the toes and the arch and is pulled to draw the toes towards the tibia while the leg remains straight.
In any case, platforms like Amazon sell all kinds of splints, insoles, compression socks, bandages, and massagers that help stretch the fascia and reduce inflammation and pain. Here are some of them.
One of the solutions that can relieve fascial pain and help to get rid of it is to use splints that help keep it stretched during the night hours. With this, it is possible to progressively reduce the inflammation until the lesion disappears. An example of this type of splint is the one from the Braceability brand, which can be used for both feet and is made of comfortable, washable, light and breathable materials.
In addition to restricting the mobility of the foot to keep it in the position that most facilitates the stretching of the fascia, it has a tensor that joins the area of the tibia with the instep, thereby reinforcing that function . In addition to treating plantar fasciitis, it is also useful when suffering from Achilles tendonitis.
Another different way to alleviate discomfort in the calcaneus area is to massage the area to help reduce inflammation of the fascia. One of the exercises that podiatrists frequently recommend is to roll a cylindrical object with the sole of the foot, so that when doing so the affected area is massaged . You can make a cold bottle, so that the benefits of temperature are added to the effect of the massage.
Another option is to use a roller massager like this one from, which combines an ergonomic surface dotted with small bumps to the cylindrical shape that exert acupressure on the plant by rolling the massager . In addition to treating plantar fasciitis, it’s also useful for tired feet, and it’s lightweight and small so it can easily be taken on the go.
ONE MORE SPLINT
This is another proposed splint to help keep the fascia stretched during the night hours. Unlike the previous one, this one does not wrap around the instep area, but leaves it in the open air and is attached to it by means of three adjustable straps with extra padding.
The part that is covered is that of the Achilles heel, the beginning of the calf, the heel and the sole, by means of a rigid structure that limits mobility to keep the fascia stretched. In addition, in the sole area it includes a light non-slip rubber sole so that the sensation when stepping is safe and comfortable.
Splints, massagers, insoles… and socks! Yes, socks can also help you fight plantar fasciitis. They can be used during the day to alleviate the discomfort of fasciitis, or even at night, to speed up the recovery process.
The manufacturer ensures that this anklet sock is comfortable, since it adapts to your walking movements, breathable and capable of absorbing moisture. Of course, it has a cushioned heel surface that reduces pain when stepping on it.
SUPPORT FOR THE PLANTAR ARCH
Their main function is to provide firm support to the plantar arch to reduce tension in the fascia and, with it, the pain that occurs when walking, especially during the first hours of the day. Even so, it also includes a somewhat softer surface in the heel area to cushion the footprint in that area.
They are hard and with that they keep my bridge relaxed, the pain I have in the plantar fascia has been reduced since I have been using them.
INSOLES FOR FASCIITIS
The pain caused by plantar fasciitis in the heel area can be such, especially in the morning hours, that the possibility of resting it on a soft and comfortable surface helps a lot to cope with the discomfort .
It has full-length cushions, so it supports the entire foot, evenly distributing the pressure. And in addition to protecting the heel, it helps to relieve tension in the plantar arch area. This model adapts to all types of shoes, from the most formal to those for sports use, so it will allow you to use the insoles both to go to work and in your leisure hours.