For most, plantar fasciitis pain comes on gradually. Your plantar fascia (fibrous tissue along the bottom of the feet) helps you stay mobile and connects the balls of the feet to your heel bone. Repetitive movements often required in sports or certain jobs can make it become inflamed.
If you notice that the bottom of your feet feel sore or tight, try one or more of the following 10 home remedies to prevent the pain from getting worse:
- RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression (bandage or socks), Elevate. These are the first actions you should take when you encounter pain, especially if it won’t go away after a few seconds. Doing these often will help prevent the injury from getting worse, especially if it’s an overuse injury.
- Stretch when you wake up: There are a few ways to stretch the calves and the plantar fascia. Try this one before you take your first steps in the morning: stretch the bottom of the feet by bending at your hips and reaching for your toes. Pull the toes back so that you feel the stretch along the soles of your feet. If you can’t reach, use a band or towel to pull on the top of the foot.
- Massage the plantar fascia: When you have your foot across your knee with the soles facing up, you can feel the plantar fascia tighten up. Rub the area up and down along the band of tissues.
- Use a golf, lacrosse, or handball: Whether you’re sitting at work or at home in front of the TV, give the soles of your feet a massage by rolling the ball on the ground using your foot. Rolling it around can stimulate circulation and healing. Pushing down on pressure points will give you relief.
- Soak your feet in a warm bath: Epsom salt can relieve tightness and can encourage healing when added to the bath.
- Use orthotics: Whether it is over-the-counter or custom-made by our podiatrist, orthotics can help displace the strains of the feet while you go about your day-to-day activities.
- Change your shoes: If you wear flats, high heels, or other shoes with poor support, your feet will continue to feel terrible in them. Find better shoes and stick to supportive, cushioned shoes to prevent worse symptoms.
- Change your workout routine: Chances are, athletes who have repeatedly stressed their plantar fascia will suffer most from fasciitis pain. Unless it’s unavoidable, change your exercise for a while to allow the plantar fascia to rest. Or take breaks often while you exercise. Try not to increase weight or speed too rapidly, as this can also irritate the plantar fascia.
- Splint your feet at night: For some, using a night splint can be helpful. It immobilizes the feet in the flexed position so that they do not strain while you are sleeping. This can help prevent morning pain.
- Toe exercises: Strengthen your feet by doing foot and toe exercises, such as picking up and moving marbles or a small towel.
If your plantar fasciitis pain does not get better after trying some of these home treatments, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. Our foot doctor will assess your feet to get you the right treatment. Make an appointment today at any of our offices in Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City!