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What Not To Do With Plantar Fasciitis? Facts To Remember!

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Plantar fasciitis is a common and often debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This painful foot disorder can significantly impact an individual’s daily activities, making it challenging to perform even the simplest tasks.

While there are various treatment options available, it’s equally important to understand what not to do when dealing with plantar fasciitis, as certain actions or habits can exacerbate the condition or prolong the recovery process. In this article, let’s take a look at those things that should avoid doing while dealing with this condition.

Key takeaways:

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot.
When dealing with plantar fasciitis, there are several things you should avoid to prevent exacerbating the condition or delaying healing.
Treatment options for plantar fasciitis typically focus on relieving pain and inflammation, as well as addressing the underlying causes.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition impacting the plantar fascia, a dense strip of connective tissue spanning from the heel bone to the toes on the underside of the foot. This condition is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, typically causing pain in the heel area.

Plantar Fasciitis

The main symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

1. Heel pain: This is the most common symptom, typically felt as a stabbing or burning sensation in the heel of the foot, particularly when taking the first few steps after waking up or after prolonged periods of inactivity.

2. Arch pain: In some cases, individuals may experience pain in the arch of the foot due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia.

3. Stiffness: The affected foot may feel stiff, especially in the morning or after periods of rest.

4. Swelling: The heel or arch area may appear swollen or inflamed.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by various factors, including obesity, prolonged standing or walking, inappropriate footwear, high arches or flat feet, and sudden increases in physical activity.

What Not to Do With Plantar Fasciitis?

While there are several effective treatments for plantar fasciitis, it’s equally important to understand what actions or habits can potentially worsen the condition or prolong the recovery process. Here are some things to avoid when dealing with plantar fasciitis:

1. Ignoring the pain

One of the worst things you can do with plantar fasciitis is to ignore the pain and continue with your regular activities. This can lead to further inflammation and damage to the plantar fascia, making the condition more difficult to treat.

2. Wearing unsupportive or worn-out shoes

Poorly fitting or worn-out shoes can exacerbate the pain and strain on the plantar fascia. Ensure you wear supportive, well-cushioned shoes with proper arch support to reduce the stress on your feet.

3. Going barefoot

Walking barefoot or wearing unsupportive slippers or flip-flops can put unnecessary strain on the plantar fascia and worsen the condition. Always wear supportive footwear, even at home.

4. Doing high-impact exercises

High-impact activities like running, jumping, or other intense exercises can aggravate plantar fasciitis by putting excessive stress on the plantar fascia. It’s best to avoid these activities until the condition improves.

5. Prolonged standing or walking

Extended periods of standing or walking can exacerbate the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. If your job requires prolonged standing, take frequent breaks to rest your feet and consider using supportive insoles or orthotics.

6. Neglecting stretching and strengthening exercises

Failing to perform stretching and strengthening exercises for the calves, feet, and ankles can contribute to the development and persistence of plantar fasciitis. Regular stretching and exercises can help alleviate the symptoms and prevent further injury.

7. Self-medicating without medical guidance

While over-the-counter pain medications can provide temporary relief, self-medicating without proper medical guidance can mask the underlying issue and potentially lead to further complications.

Also read: How To Cure Fungal Infection On The Skin Naturally? Home Remedies!

How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Treating plantar fasciitis typically involves a combination of conservative methods and, in some cases, more invasive treatments. Here are some common approaches to managing plantar fasciitis:

1. Rest and ice: Resting the affected foot and applying ice to the heel area can help reduce inflammation and pain.

2. Stretching and strengthening exercises: Specific stretches and exercises targeted at the calves, feet, and ankles can help alleviate the strain on the plantar fascia and promote healing.

3. Supportive footwear and orthotics: Wearing properly fitted shoes with good arch support and using orthotics or heel cups can help distribute weight evenly and reduce the stress on the plantar fascia.

4. Night splints: Wearing a night splint can help keep the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a stretched position, reducing morning pain and stiffness.

5. Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist can provide guidance on specific exercises, stretches, and modalities (such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation) to help manage the condition.

6. Corticosteroid injections: In severe cases, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.

7. Surgery: In rare and severe cases where conservative treatments fail, surgery may be considered to release the plantar fascia or address any underlying structural issues.

Conclusion

Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, but by understanding what not to do, you can significantly improve your chances of recovery and prevent further aggravation of the condition. Avoiding activities or habits that put excessive strain on the plantar fascia, wearing supportive footwear, and following a proper treatment plan are crucial steps in managing plantar fasciitis effectively.

Remember, every individual’s case is unique, and it’s essential to work closely with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or physical therapist, to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. With the right approach, patience, and commitment to self-care, many individuals can find relief from the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis and regain their ability to participate in daily activities without limitations.

FAQs

1. How long does it take to recover from plantar fasciitis?

The recovery time varies from person to person but typically ranges from a few weeks to several months. Consistently following a treatment plan, including stretching and strengthening exercises, is important for optimal recovery.

2. When should I see a doctor for plantar fasciitis?

If you experience persistent heel pain that does not improve with self-care measures or if the pain is severe and interferes with your daily activities, it’s important to see a doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.

 3. Is it OK to keep walking with plantar fasciitis?

While it’s generally not recommended to completely avoid walking with plantar fasciitis, it’s essential to limit excessive weight-bearing activities that can aggravate the condition. Short, gentle walks may be beneficial, but prolonged walking or standing should be avoided until the inflammation and pain subside.

References

Harvard Health (2024) Plantar fasciitis: Symptoms, causes, and treatments Available online at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/plantar-fasciitis-symptoms-causes-and-treatments

MedlinePlus (n.d) Plantar fasciitis Available online at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19568.htm

David Mercer

Dr. David Mercer is a board-certified physician in internal medicine and general practice. He has over 20 years of experience working in hospital settings, clinics, and private practice providing comprehensive care to patients.

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