Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially when walking or standing for long periods of time. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain that is worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity
- Pain that increases with activity or after standing for long periods of time
- Pain that is relieved by rest or stretching
Treatment for plantar fasciitis may include a combination of the following:
- Rest: Avoid activities that cause pain, such as running or standing for long periods of time.
- Stretching: Stretch the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle to help reduce pain and improve flexibility.
- a typical stretch includes runners stretch (calf stretch) and plantar fascia stretch (runner's stretch + toe elevated).
- Ice: Apply ice to the heel and arch of the foot to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle
- a typical strengthening exercise includes calf raises and toe-yoga.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may help reduce pain and inflammation.
It is true that wearing barefoot shoes or shoes with minimal support can help improve foot muscle strength and flexibility. This is because these types of shoes allow the foot to move and function more naturally, which can help improve balance and stability.
Barefoot shoes may also be helpful in preventing plantar fasciitis, as they can help reduce strain on the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and can become inflamed in people with plantar fasciitis. However, it is important to note that barefoot shoes are not a guarantee against developing plantar fasciitis or other foot conditions.
It is also important to gradually introduce barefoot shoes into your routine and to listen to your body. If you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing barefoot shoes, it may be necessary to adjust your activity level or switch to a different type of shoe. It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your foot health.