Does the bottom of your foot feel tight and painful? Perhaps you feel a "clicking" sensation when you stretch out the arch of your foot. Chances are, these symptoms are caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the thick band of connective tissue that runs from your heel to your toes becomes inflamed and irritated. If you're just developing this condition, there are a few things you can do to try treating it at home:
Take a break from exercise, and go easy on your feet.
Plantar fasciitis is common in runners and workers who spend long hours on their feet. If you're running as a part of your workout routine, try replacing this with cycling or some time on the elliptical to give your plantar fascia a break.
If you spend long hours on your feet, see if there is a way you can spend more time sitting during the day. For instance, if you're a teacher, try teaching from a stool for half of the day until the symptoms subside.
Roll a cold golf ball under your arch.
Ice is great for reducing inflammation, but the bottom of your foot is an awkward place to apply ice. A great way to accomplish this is to place a golf ball in the freezer for a few hours. Then, place it on the ground and roll it back and forth under the sore area of the arch of your foot.
Not only will the cold help ease the inflammation, but the gently massage of the rolling golf ball will help loosen the tissues in your plantar fascia, easing the pain even further. When the golf ball warms up, put it back in the freezer, and repeat this treatment in a few hours when it's cold again.
Do some toe-raises.
You want to avoid heavily exercising your plantar fascia when it's inflamed, but some light stretching can help ease the pain. Perhaps the easiest stretch to do is toe raises. You can do them on a flat surface. Stand barefoot (or with socks on) with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Rise onto your toes, and stay in this position for about 10 seconds. You should feel stretching in your plantar fascia. Then, slowly lower your heels to the ground. Repeat this move three to five times daily.
If these methods fail to ease your plantar fasciitis pain within a few weeks, be sure to seek treatment from a reputable sports medicine doctor. He or she can recommend specific exercises based on your personal physiology and lifestyle, leading to speedier healing. To learn more, contact a professional such as Dr. Lisa M. Schoene with any questions or concerns you have.