Feeling extreme pain in your heel? If so, then you most likely have plantar fasciitis. This is a common injury found in runners, especially when you tend to strike your heel when running. It can be very uncomfortable, not to forget distressing when it worsens, should you continue to run through the pain.
Therefore, it is important to make sure that you take measures to get rid of heel pain before it gets worse. In this article, we are here to tell you how to heal plantar fasciitis quickly, as well as effectively. We will give you the tools and resources to make sure that you are on your way to speedy recovery. Soon, you will be able to get back into running!
Quick Navigation: How To Heal Plantar Fasciitis Quickly
What you will need to follow this tutorial
- Ice. This is for relieving the pain, as well as for helping you recover faster.
- Foam roller. This is good for rolling out sore and/or tight muscles around your heel area.
- Small ball. Whether you choose a golf ball or a tennis ball, this is to help you massage your feet and break down tightness beneath the skin.
- A wall. You will use it for stretching out your heels.
- A pile of thick books. This will be used in conjunction with the wall for heel exercises.
- Insoles. These shoe slip-ons will better assist you in arch support, which can make a difference as to how you run properly.
- Athletic tape. Use this item for binding your feet and heel in place for added support when walking or running.
- Stop running. This does not necessarily mean that you should cease all running forever, but rather a matter of taking some time off to let your feet heal. Continuing to run on a painful heel not only brings extreme discomfort to the experience, but it also exacerbates the already-injured area, thereby making it difficult to get better quickly.
That being said, the sooner you realize the pain and cease running, the faster your body will be able to recover from the injury. On average, this could take about 3 to 7 days.
- Do foot exercises. While not running, take the time to perform some exercises to strengthen the foot, which will, in turn, lead to a stronger heel.
One of these exercises is the “wall and book” stretch: start by placing a pile of thick books a couple of feet away from the wall. Stand on top of the books, making sure that your heels dangle off of the books. With the front of your body facing the wall, lean forward and place your hands in front of you to touch the wall; you should be able to feel a stretch in your heels. Hold for ten to fifteen seconds before returning to original position.
For a video demonstration on the “wall and book” stretch, check it out here:
Other exercises you can do include calf raises and the curb stretch. For the former, simply lift your heels above the ground in a slow, controlled fashion while flexing your calves as you do so. For the latter, plant your foot at an angle on a sidewalk curb and lean forward, feeling the stretch in the heel and calf. Both are just as easy to do as the “wall and book” stretch, and don’t require as much equipment!
- Roll out your body. Starting with your feet, use either a golf ball or tennis ball to roll out any tension underneath your feet; this is done to relax your muscles, as well as break any extra scar tissue from under it.
Similarly, use a foam roller to roll out tight calf muscles. Try to add pressure when doing so, but not so much as to feel even more pain in the area. Just like with other methods like icing, massaging your muscles after strengthening exercises will prevent you from getting sore and worsening your plantar fasciitis.
For a video demonstration on using a foam roller for your calves, take a look here:
- Ice well. Just like it is with many injuries, icing is used to alleviate pain and also to help the body heal faster. For tricky areas like the heel, you can either fill up a bucket with ice water and submerge your entire foot in it or make an ice cup (i.e. paper cup filled with ice water) and apply it all over the foot and heel as a sort of ice massage.
The most important thing when icing is not to overdo it, as it can lead to damaging the skin and the tissue. Aim for no more than 20 minutes of icing in one sitting, and no more than 3 times a day. It is best to ice right after you perform your foot exercises, to make sure that do not get inflamed afterward.
- Invest in supportive gear for recovery. Items such as new running shoes, athletic tape, and even insoles are not bad to consider when you are recovering from plantar fasciitis. Purchase brand-new running shoes when your old ones are starting to look worn out since old shoes have less support which contributes to injuries should you choose to keep using them in running.
In addition, athletic tape and insoles can be used to give extra support to your foot and heel by providing stability and cushion to your affected areas, respectively. For getting started with running insoles, check out our article here to learn more.
Granted, having plantar fasciitis can be a setback in your running career, but it does not have to be the end of it all. By taking careful measures to rest up, strengthen your feet, calves, and heels, and get extra support for your body, you can be assured that you will be healed in a short amount of time and get back into running soon.
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