Suffering From Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain? These 5 Great Fixes & 5 Basic Stretches Will Help!
Not everyone has heard of plantar fasciitis, but most of us have experienced persistent heel pain at one point or another. Plantar fasciitis is responsible for about 10% of all heel pain suffered by American adults. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that supports the foot’s arch and connects the heel bone to the toes. The most common reason for plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia tissues where they connect close to the heel.
This inflammation is commonly caused by running or strain to the feet during exercise or prolonged standing or walking during work. Usually, it affects the heel of the dominant foot, but it’s not unusual for plantar fasciitis to cause heel pain in both feet. According the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI), fasciitis is a primary factor in the foot and ankle conditions seen at their facilities.
Important Factors That Cause Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain
10% may not seem like a big number, but in terms of heel pain plantar fasciitis is the primary cause of heel-related pain for adults in the U.S. That breaks down to about a million visits to the doctor each year. At NSI, most cases of plantar fasciitis seen are due to the following:
- Pronation that is repetitive or too extreme
- The patient’s weight and/or age
- Not using proper form during workouts
Across the U.S., 83% of patients diagnosed with heel pain due to plantar fasciitis are people whose jobs require them to stand or walk for long periods of time. It is common among those who are 45 years of age or older. But, as a work-related injury, fasciitis can be seen in adults as young as approximately 25 years of age on up to 65. In other words, even the youngest and healthiest of adults can fall victim to this common work and sports-related injury.
The more punishing the job or activity is on the feet, the more likely it is that fasciitis heel pain will develop
People with high-impact exercise regimens, particularly running, or physically taxing jobs frequently injure one or both the plantar fascia. Soldiers, too, are very susceptible to fascia injury. Generally speaking, the percentage of runners who suffer heel pain due to plantar fasciitis varies between 4% to 22%.
The higher rates are usually due to athletes who do not take proper rest periods between workouts to allow muscles to recover. Studies indicate that approximately a third of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis feel heel pain in both feet.
But, there is good news. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that over 90% of fasciitis patients show improvement within 10 months of beginning simple therapy methods. Best of all, these techniques can be done right in the home.
5 Great, Noninvasive Remedies For Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain
Most people with heel pain due to plantar fasciitis can find healing and relief through simple, nonaggressive therapies. Surgery and steroid injections should, and can, be last resort options. It is best to apply far less invasive or potentially risky methods for decreasing inflammation and pain first. Five of these methods are outlined below.
If these five techniques don’t relieve fasciitis heel pain, regenerative therapies like those practiced at NSI will successfully repair the damage of plantar fasciitis for the vast majority of patients. So try these first and avoid the more aggressive or potentially toxic methods whenever possible.
1. Resting, Massaging, and Icing Away Heel Pain
As soon as you realize your heel pain is due to injury, the first step is to prevent movement that can aggravate the situation. That means avoiding foot movement that is repetitive, particularly the activity that caused the fasciitis in the first place. Be prepared to stay away from any activities that worsen the heel pain for a minimum of several weeks, keeping in mind that this time frame varies for each individual. But don’t despair! You can continue with low-impact exercise or sports while you give your foot time to heal. These can include:
- Spin Classes
If your injury is a new one, applying an ice pack can go a long way in speeding healing. Elevate the foot affected by the heel pain and apply ice packs two to four times a day. Each application should be for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. You can add a cooling massage to this therapy by filling a paper cup with water, freeze it, then roll it across the area of heel pain for around five to seven minutes.
Approximately two to three days after injury, swelling should improve somewhat. At this point, gently massaging the affected heel can be both soothing and beneficial. The massage can include heat therapy and the application of essential oils to further speed the reduction inflammation.
Essential oils paired with massaging are great for your feet
Pairing warmed essential oils with massaging are exceptionally good for your feet, especially when it comes to fasciitis heel pain. The oils are excellent for increasing blood flow, which speeds the healing process and breaks up the formation of scar tissue or adhesions.
Begin by massaging injured area, using circular motions. Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. This best way to apply the essential oil is to add them to coconut or olive oil. Essential oils that are good for decreasing swelling and pain include:
- Rosemary Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Rose Oil
- Lavender Oil
2. Use These Exercises and Stretches to Help Your Heel Pain
Without doubt, stretching methods for the legs and injured heel are among the most beneficial therapy techniques. It is also important to strengthen the calves of the legs and the Achilles tendons to help prevent foot injuries like plantar fasciitis that cause heel pain. Ensuring that these parts of the leg are healthy and strong goes a long way in reducing tissue adhesion. Tissue adhesions are a kind of internal scar tissue. They are fibrous bands that may form between tissues because of injury.
Studies indicate that close to 100% of people who suffer fasciitis heel pain experience improvement when they perform the particular leg and heel stretches outlined below for a minimum of five months. The stretches should be performed twice daily. Each set should include ten repetitions that are held for twenty seconds during each rep. The stretches below are recommended by the American Orthopedic Food And Ankle Society, the Mayo Clinic, and the National Stem Cell Institute.
Stretches using a towel:
- Use a rolled towel by placing it under the ball of the foot and pulling on each end of the towel
- Stand against a wall
- With slow and gentle pressure, bend your leg forward
- Keep the knee of the grounded leg straight and the heel on the ground
- Keep a firm stretch for fifteen to thirty seconds, then release
- Reverse legs and repeat the exercise
You can move the toweled foot around to add a massaging effect. You can also warm the towel for additional relief.
- Cross leg of the foot with heal pain over the other
- Grasp the foot
- Gently stretch the toes back in the direction of your shin.
- Maintain the stretch for ten seconds
- Rub a thumb from left to right across the arch of the foot with heel pain
- As the foot heals, the plantar fascia should strengthen and gain a firmness similar to a guitar string
- While leaning forward, set your feet about 12 inches apart
- Bend your knees and lower into a squat, making sure you keep the heels grounded as long as you can
- Hold this position for ten seconds and repeat twenty times
Achilles tendon stretches:
- Put the leg of the foot with heel pain behind the other leg
- The toes of foot with heel pain should be pointed towards the other heel
- Leaning against a wall, begin bending the front knee. Make sure you keep the back leg straight
- Do not lift the back heel from the floor.
- Gently and firmly stretch the injured foot in this position for ten seconds per rep
- Repeat 10 times
3. Invest in Footwear that is Supportive
Shoes strongly influence your form as you walk or run. They also affect the feet’s ability to hold up under force and pressure. If you find yourself experiencing frequent heel pain, your footwear might be the culprit. Consult someone with footwear expertise, like a physical therapist or trained expert in a sports shoe/goods store.
An experienced professional will size your feet and be able to advise you on the best kind of footwear for your foot size and shape, and for the activity you’ll use the shoes for. Ensuring that you have the right footwear with good cushioning and arch support lowers risk for injuries like heel pain when working out or performing work and daily activities.
Know when to get new footwear and what types of shoes to avoid
People who run for exercise need new runners after approximately 500 miles of use. When not exercising or working, it is best to avoid wearing high heels or sandals. Regularly walking on hard surfaces with bare feet can promote or aggravate heel pain. So, if your home has tile or wood floors, invest in quality house shoes that include cushioning.
4. Reaching and Maintaining Healthy Weight
Making sure you maintain a healthy weight makes a big difference in the physical stresses that can cause heel pain. The higher the body weight, the more weakened the lower leg muscles become. That means the pressure is increased on the heels.
Avoid foods that increase inflammation in the body. Doing all you can to reduce stress, get plenty of sleep and regular, consistent exercise all contribute to healthy weight loss and management. Excellent food choices that help control weight loss and inflammation include:
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh veggies
- Green juices
- Fresh fish
- Foods rich in probiotics
- Nuts and seeds
- Cage-free eggs
- Pasture-raised poultry
5. Find an Experienced Professional
If you try the above recommendations and you’re still suffering from heel pain, you may want to consult with a physician or physical therapist. Today, professional athletes are increasingly turning to regenerative medicine techniques before resorting to surgery or potentially harmful medications. FDA guidelines-compliant regenerative facilities like the National Stem Cell Institute pair stem cell and/or platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments with physical therapy. The combination is popular with pros because of the accelerated healing time associated with regenerative procedures.
Depending on the severity of heel pain, regenerative medicine alone may be enough to heal your plantar fasciitis. But, even when stem cell or PRP therapies are combined with physical therapy, the majority of people experience greatly reduced recovery time as compared to that of surgery. This is because the stem cells and therapeutic elements in platelet rich plasma go to the cellular root of the plantar fasciitis.
Natural growth factors in stem cells are better at repairing damage than conventional steroids
The growth factors inherent in stem cells act as natural stimulants that promote acceleration in the healing process. Unlike conventional cortisone shots –which can further damage tendons, ligaments, and muscles- stem cells and PRP don’t simply relieve heel pain they repair damaged tissue and re-grow healthy, new tissue.
At NSI, the procedure is done on an outpatient basis within a matter of hours with no need for general anesthesia or overnight stays. Stringent controls are in place to ensure sterile conditions and optimum concentrations of stem cells for the therapy. Since the stem cells are the patient’s own, there is no risk of rejection. Full recovery from the heel pain of plantar fasciitis is a matter of weeks instead of months or longer.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis heel pain can be resolved with the stretches and remedies outlined above. However, in cases where heel pain is persistent or chronic, taking the lead of professional athletes like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, and Peyton Manning may get you back to work and your favorite activities and sports more quickly and with better results than conventional steroid therapy or surgery.
If you would like to learn more about regenerative medicine as a viable alternative to surgery or steroids, NSI is always happy to answer your questions. There is also a brochure available for downloading free of charge on their website. Patient testimonials can be found on NSI’s YouTube channel.
To learn more about plantar fasciitis and how it causes heel pain, you can visit the sites below:
Start using the five great fixes and five basic stretches discussed in the article and see how quickly you can recover from the heel pain of plantar fasciitis. Not only will you be able to get back to freedom from foot pain, you’ll be able to help prevent future injury and maintain a healthier, happier lifestyle.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.