What it is:A graphic image of a food showing the plantar fascia tearing and indicating the pain with a burst of red coming from the injury

The Plantar Fascia is a layer of strong, fairly inflexible tissue that covers the muscles on the bottom of your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation along this layer. Usually it is felt right where the fascia inserts into your calcaneus (the bone that makes up your heal). The problem is that when it is inflamed, each time you take a step, it microscopically tears which just inflames it even more. To treat it you have to break the cycle and give it a chance to heal.

What to do:

  1. Anti-inflammatory therapies – By lowering the inflammation, you decrease the possibility of continually “tearing” the fascia
    1. Curcumin is one of my favorite oral anti-inflammatories. You can take 100-200 mg, 3 times a day. Try to take it away from food to have the best effect.
    2. End your day with a Healing Poultice (Click here for the recipe)
  2. Night Splints – these help keep the fascia stretched out so that, when you step down, it is less likely to tear.
    1. You should be able to get this at any medical supply company, many drug stores, online or at some of the superstores.
    2. You’ll be wearing them to bed every night, so look for one that you think you can sleep in
  3. Orthotics – These support your foot during the day eliminating undue stress on the fascia
    1. If possible, it would be great to have these made by an actual orthotist or physical therapist who specializes in orthotics
    2. In a pinch, you can try Superfeet.
  4. Stretching the muscles that affect the plantar fascia – Flexibility will stop the constant re-inuring, as well as prevent this from returning in the future.
    1. The most important part of this is that you stretch after any time you’ve been off your feet for more than 20 minutes. This means when you wake up in the morning, AND after any time you’ve been sitting for more than 20 minutes. You have to stretch BEFORE you stand on your foot and re-tear the fascia.
    2. Stretches to do
      1. Plantar Fascia – Sit with the sore foot crossed over the top of your opposite knee. Pull your toes back toward your knee. To enhance this, you can rub along the bottom of your foot.
      2. Hamstring – Sit on the edge of the chair or bed. Straighten the leg of the sore foot with your heel on the ground and your toes flexed back toward your knee. Keep your back arched, and slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch on the back of your leg.
      3. Upper Calf – After standing, face a wall that you can put your hands on. Step the sore foot back a foot or two and bend the front knee, keeping the knee of the sore foot straight.
      4. Lower Calf – While still facing the wall, simply move your sore foot forward half way. Now bend both knees. You should feel this stretch lower on your calf than the previous stretch.