Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot problem that athletes deal with in all sports. It can make every step uncomfortable, but there are a few simple things you can do to avoid or reduce pain! In this new blog, CRYSC’s Head Athletic Trainer Julie Graves outlines 6 ways to prevent or manage pain from Plantar Fasciitis.
Step 1: Heat
The first step in treating plantar fasciitis or plantar fascia pain in general is to use heat on the bottom of your foot for 15 minutes. Typically the best methods to do this are to use a electric heating pad or putting your feet in a hot epsom salt bath.
Step 2: Roll Out
After your feet are hot, roll out the bottom of foot with a golf ball for 10 minutes.
- Optional: Massage out bottoms of feet with some lotion, going from the heal up towards to the toes
Step 3: Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is KEY to muscle recovery and rejuvenation. *Focus especially on the calves. “I would recommend foam rolling the whole lower body (quads, hamstrings, IT Band, and calves) twice a day to prevent injury and increase performance. Before and after practice or morning and night. A lacrosse ball, baseball, or softball is better for the calves and hamstrings as it is a smaller surface area.”
- It is very important when foam rolling to go very slowly and controlled. This should not be a quick, rushed motion. There are trigger points/knots/pain points in every muscle in our body and so when you go over one of these knots/pain points, stop on them for at least 30 seconds to allow it to release. Then slowly roll down the muscle until the next one is found. This can be fairly uncomfortable/painful but it is GOOD pain!
Step 4: Stretching Your Plantar Fascia
Sit on the ground and straighten your legs (like a hamstring stretch) and grab your big toe (and other toes if you can) and bring them back towards your nose.
Step 5: Ice
Ice only after activity if your plantar fasciitis is very uncomfortable.
Step 6: Dry Needling
This is the cherry on top of all the work above. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling, include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy. Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles and is supported by research. Dry needling is done by physical therapists and chiropractors.