How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis
PF is an inflammation of your plantar fascia, which is the ligament at the bottom of your foot that stretches between your heels to your toes. This is a very common ailment, unfortunately, and it can be quite stubborn to remedy. Causes for PF run the gamut from wearing uncomfortable or bad fitting shoes to people expecting too much and just not taking good enough care of their bodies.
I developed PF in both of my feet in 2005, while I was doing a lot of running. This was the first injury for me that began the process of opening my eyes to what goes into taking care of an athlete’s body. I started to understand the pre- and post-exercise maintenance that goes into good health and keeping your body in great shape. This becomes increasingly important as we age. The main reasons for this change are:
- One, abuse and wear-and-tear accumulates and goes unnoticed when we are young so we don’t know that we’re doing harmful things, and
- Two, our physiology in terms of recovery and amount of available healing processes & nutrients decrease.
It took me several years to address my PF issues. That’s right; it took years before I got it finally under control. I did a lot of reading on PF and I received many recommendations from my doctor and other health care professionals that I went to for help. Here are just some of the things I tried, which you’ll hear from health care providers or reading online:
- Ice, especially rolling on ice, such as freezing a liquid in a bottle and then rolling it around on the floor with your foot
- A variety of stretches and strengthening exercises for your foot, ankles, and calves
- Various physical therapy sessions, including really uncomfortable and painful trigger-point and myofascial release therapies
- And a variety of other gadgets such as night splints/socks
Ultimately, none of the above worked in terms of actually getting to the root cause of the issue and giving me real relief. I wouldn’t say the above paths are without merit, but the reality is that didn’t work for me and also to many others that I’ve talked with that suffered from PF. In the end, I got full relief and I’ve been able to manage to stay free from further PF via two steps that I took.
Fixing Plantar Fasciitis in Two Steps
The two steps are simple. The first is a stretching book, the second step is a foot therapy device, and they are both available from Amazon:
I highly recommend that you get both, as they were a powerful one-two punch for me to get rid of my PF. I rely on them now for my long-term foot health and having my feet feel great all the time.
Starting Progress Right Away
The PF Solution book advocates one main stretch you should do. I’m going to just try to describe it here so there’s no mystery or if you don’t feel one stretch justifies a book purchase:
- It’s one stretch that you do before bed and first thing you wake up before you put weight on your feet and stand up out of bed
- It’s called the 5 minute solution because you will do it 10 times on each foot and you hold the stretch for 10 seconds, morning & evening
- The stretch is basically folding one leg over another as if you’re sitting normally and then take the foot in front of you and bend back the toes to get a nice banana shape to your feet
- You should see the plantar fascia ligament as a strip come exposed from your foot and a nice stretch. Do this gently, do not force it, and hold for 10 seconds.
- Then, do the opposite action by pointing your toes like ballerina’s foot and go back and repeat the bent-back toes and ballerina toes another 9 times
This stretch is going to help “reset” your injury and allow the nutrients to get into your plantar to rebuild things. It also to warms things up gently, first thing in the morning, before you put weight on it.
Combine this resetting that this stretch will do by general foot maintenance or “awakening” that the Yamuna Foot Wakers will do for you, say 2-3 times a week, and you have a powerful combination to get over this injury and have great foot health going forward.
Putting it All Together
You can just follow my steps above for the PF stretch, but I do recommend buying the 5 Minute book. The stretch is very simple, but the book goes into the research of why this is effective and the information is very interesting. The first and most important step that I took for my PF, when I was suffering and it flaring bad, was to start immediately following the book’s advice and do the stretch.
There are some negative reviews on Amazon listed and while I can’t vouch for what the reviewers did or didn’t do, I have the following advice:
- If your PF is flaring badly right now, you need to take it easy, stop whatever is aggravating it (e.g. running, etc.) and give this book’s advice a solid 4-6 weeks to allow your plantar fascia ligament to heal and get you ready for the next steps
- Icing is beneficial for inflammation; do so several times a day. If you can dunk your foot into a cold-water bath, that is even better. Also often recommended is to alternate icing with some heat to really get the flushing action going in the foot for maximum healing.
- Think about what is not optimal about your footwear, lifestyle and gait to understand why the PF came to be in the first place and take positive steps to remedy
Which leads us to the Yamuna Foot Wakers. Yamuna has excellent products and knowledge about human physiology. Once you have done the right things in “putting out the fire” in your feet, then you are ready to do the Foot Wakers routine. Yamuna will not only get your feet into healthy shape, but she will actually teach you how she believes you need to walk. Suffice it to say, we really love her products and her approach to taking care of our bodies.
I have shared this advice on how to fix plantar fasciitis with quite a few people over the years and I’ve heard positive results from them. A couple of things I like to emphases as I close out this article. One, don’t underestimate the 5 minute solution because of how simplistic it might sound. Do it as described and give it 4-6 weeks to reset your injury. Second, the Yamuna advice on how to walk is excellent and you should use the Foot Wakers to “wake up” your feet and get them healthy & strong, once you are ready after the PF stretching step.
Finally, if you are running and want to continue to run after you’ve done the above to get rid of your PF, you may want to introduce yourself to concepts of ChiRunning, pose running, and minimalist/barefoot running. You will learn some things that may be beneficial about a better way to run versus what most people do.
As with most things, there are disagreements and strongly opposed schools of thought about such running styles. However, I’m of the mind that they have enough merit to warrant investigation for potential adoption of at least some of their practices. I’ll leave further discussion on that for a future article!
Good luck and I hope these steps work for your PF! Please post any questions or feedback you have.