Despite the weather, we still like to pretend that its summer, and so many of us kick off our winter shoes and dust off the flip-flops or meander about the house barefoot. All lovely until the day you step out of bed and it hurts to put your foot to the floor. And suddenly you feel about 40 years older than you are.
If this is happening you because of pain on the sole of your foot or in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis.
This is a inflammation of the thick, fibrous band of tissue (''fascia'') that runs between the heel and the toes, supporting the muscles and arch of the foot. When the plantar fascia is regularly over-stretched, which can happen from walking too much in flip-flops or walking or running in overworn shoes, it can become inflamed.
If you catch this early, it’s usually pretty simple to manage. Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Ice massage – put cold water and ice in a plastic water bottle, and roll it up and down the sole of the foot.
2. Calf stretching – the calf muscle blends into the plantar fascia, and when it gets tight it can strain it. Keep it loose with ¾ calf stretches morning and evening.
3. Wear supportive footwear with good arch support.
4. Take anti-inflammatories.
5. Specialised strapping of the foot which we do in the clinic can give dramatic relief and speed up recovery, as can supportive insoles.
If the above doesn't dramatically improve things or clear it within a few days then it's best to get it assessed. Caught early it is usually very easy to deal with, but let it linger and it can become a more chronic problem.
We treat plantar fasciitis regularly in the clinic. If you think you may have it, the sooner you address it the quicker it recovers. Book online at http://www.eastcoastphysio.ie/booking or call us at 0404-49781.