Heel pain plagues many people, but it often resolves quickly. However, if heel pain continues to produce symptoms, you may be dealing with a more significant issue like plantar fasciitis.
You don't have to live with chronic heel pain, though: getting rid of plantar fasciitis may be as simple as stretching your feet regularly.
Dr. Marque A. Allen and the team at Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio offer specialized care for heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Dr. Allen is a foot and ankle specialist who provides patients personalized care and customized treatments for issues like heel pain.
Symptoms of chronic heel pain
Chronic heel pain occurs for many reasons, including an injury to the bone or issues with your plantar fascia. Your heel takes on much of your weight during walking and running, making it prone to overuse problems and injury.
Heel pain can come and go or be chronic, making your daily activities difficult to deal with. A few of the common symptoms you may experience with heel problems include the following:
- Stabbing sensation in your heel
- Severe pain in the morning
- Discomfort with long periods of standing
- Swelling or inflammation
- Stiffness around the heel and foot
Plantar fasciitis is one of the more common causes of heel pain. It can create serious problems getting through your day without treatment and stretching exercises.
Understanding plantar fasciitis
Your plantar fascia is a long, tough band of tissue that spans from your heel to your toes on both feet. Although strong, the plantar fascia can suffer injury or overuse, leading to small tears or inflammation.
Runners and athletes that spend much time on their feet are more prone to plantar fasciitis. You're also at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis if you have a job requiring you to be on your feet or overweight.
Plantar fasciitis often goes away with rest on its own, but if your symptoms persist with home therapy, seek treatment to prevent long-term pain and complications.
Four of the best stretches for plantar fasciitis
One of the best ways to deal with plantar fasciitis is by stretching your feet and the surrounding muscles. If you're tired of living with heel pain every day, try one of these four effective stretches to ease the discomfort:
1. Calf stretches
Tight calf muscles can worsen plantar fasciitis, so stretching your calves is essential. You can stretch your calf muscles by standing and pushing against a wall with your arms while staggering your feet and stretching your calves.
2. Rolling stretch
Put a tennis ball under your foot and roll it back and forth for this stretch. It allows the muscles to stretch out in your foot to relieve pain and discomfort from plantar fasciitis.
3. Sitting foot stretch
Stretching your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia is as simple as putting a towel around your foot and bringing your toes toward your body while keeping your knees straight.
4. Toe extension
A toe extension is the most accessible stretch for plantar fasciitis because you can do it anywhere. Sit on the floor or chair and cross one leg over the other.
Hold your toes and stretch your ankles to feel a good pull on your calf and foot muscles. You can also massage the bottom of your foot during this stretch to relieve discomfort and stiffness.
If you're tired of suffering from chronic heel pain, call one of our conveniently located offices in Alamo Heights or San Antonio, Texas. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Allen on our website.