Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue in your foot and nearly 2 million Americans suffer from the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Although many people think that plantar fasciitis affects only the heel of the foot, it can actually affect any part of the bottom of your foot since all of that tissue is at risk for inflammation. Early morning foot pain and/or stiffness is typically a good indication that you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, as is pain or discomfort after spending long periods of time on your feet.
While there are certain lifestyles that can increase a person’s likelihood of experiencing plantar fasciitis, such as those that keep people on their feet for long periods of time like factory workers, teachers, and healthcare providers, anyone can get it. Especially if you’re flat footed, and/or between the ages of 40 – 60, your risk is greater. Since the feet are the foundation of the body, it’s essential to treat any foot pain promptly with precision. However, many people ignore their symptoms or turn to ineffective treatments, so these are five terrible things people do to treat plantar fasciitis that you should avoid.
1. Ignore It
With our busy lifestyles, sometimes we ignore pain or discomfort unless or until it becomes debilitating. We often think that we just have sore feet or lower back pain from stress, being tired, or over-exerting ourselves, and hope that in a day or two, it goes away. But, waiting a day or two could prolong problems and cause you to waste more time hoping discomfort disappears rather than just diagnosing it. Ignoring an issue such as plantar fasciitis can lead to greater pain and discomfort which can negatively impact your daily lifestyle. Additionally, ignoring plantar fasciitis rather than treating it can lead to discomfort in other areas of your body like your ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
2. Use OTC Solutions
Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions rarely provide more than temporary relief, if any, for conditions such as plantar fasciitis. OTC insoles typically provide very ineffective support for your feet. Additionally, using OTC remedies will cost you more money in the big picture without relief. OTC insoles are not designed for long-term, daily wear so they need to be replaced often and other OTC options like wraps and tape may cause short-term relief but are not designed to treat plantar fasciitis. Instead, working with a professional can help you get a customized solution like an orthotic insole to more effectively treat plantar fasciitis and lead to faster relief.
3. Self-Diagnosing and Treating
Plantar fasciitis can be tricky to identify because there are several symptoms and you could have all or only some of them. These symptoms include sharp pain in your feet when you wake up, heel spurs, and painful arches. The causes of plantar fasciitis can also greatly vary among people and include lifestyle, weight, age, gender, and the unique composition in the shape and size of your foot. Since plantar fasciitis is not experienced the same way by everyone, many people who try to self-diagnose can do so incorrectly and overlook plantar fasciitis as their issue. In doing so, they come up with their own treatment plans which can be ineffective and sometimes risky. Treating plantar fasciitis requires more attention than googling your symptoms, changing your shoes and/or buying an insole at your local drug store. At a minimum, those who self-diagnose should seek a second opinion from a health professional like a chiropractor to ensure prompt and proper treatment.
4. Overusing Pain Relievers
Pain relievers are simply not intended to treat the pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis. However, because of the prominence and convenience of pain relievers like aspirin and acetaminophen, many of us pop a few pills at the first twinge of discomfort. The problem is that overuse of pain relievers can be very dangerous to our bodies causing kidney problems, masking symptoms, and disguising more serious issues. Not to mention the potential for addiction. If you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, the best type of treatment actually does not require pain relievers. With the help of a professional you can find relief from plantar fasciitis without the need for any pills or potions.
5. Avoiding Professional Advice/Treatment
It can seem overwhelming to have to try and schedule a doctor’s appointment for a problem like plantar fasciitis that seemingly starts out of nowhere. Between figuring out what your insurance covers, trying to find the time to see someone, and finding the right person to see, many people just avoid seeing a professional and hope the discomfort disappears. Many people also make assumptions about treatment that cause them to avoid seeing a doctor, and then there are those of us who have anxiety and fear associated with getting help. Although there are hundreds of reasons why people avoid professional advice and treatment, it really is the only way to treat plantar fasciitis. The good news is that treatment typically does not include extensive physical therapy or weeks of follow up appointments and relief can be as simple as a customized orthotic insole for your shoes and an adjustment to your lower back.
Since the feet are the foundation of your body, don’t ignore any pain or discomfort and don’t make the mistakes listed here. Reach out to a chiropractor who can easily identify and treat plantar fasciitis and get you hooked up with the best customized insoles for your body and feet. Feeling pain and discomfort is not a normal part of life that should be chalked up to age or lifestyle and there are solutions that will help you prevent and maintain comfort within your body.