People that complain of foot pain, particularly pain in the heel, may suffer from a condition called plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by a muscle strain in the area called the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel with the front part of your foot. The plantar fascia is a thin, fibrous tissue that has long threads of fibers extending out from it all the way to the toes. Issues happen when people tear this ligament or it becomes inflamed. For four out of five people, the condition can be fixed and the pain that they experience goes away within 3-12 months.
Who is at risk for plantar fasciitis?
There are a few different things that can cause this condition, and there are just as many treatments, including taping for plantar fasciitis. The causes can vary from jumping, walking or even standing for a long period of time. Also, weight gain, such as with pregnancy, can lead to tearing or straining of this tissue causing PF pain. The way that people injure themselves in this way varies quite a bit from one person to another.
However, there are certain attributes that can put some people in a higher risk category for plantar fasciitis. First of all, anyone who repetitively bangs their heel against the ground repetitively, for whatever reason, is going to be at a higher risk level. That means that postal carriers, gymnasts and police officers are all good candidates for plantar fasciitis. A few more risk factors for PF include people who train often like runners or athletes, and people who wear the wrong running shoes. People that run on hard surfaces like cement or asphalt can develop PF as well, so you should try to run on yielding surfaces like grass or soft dirt. People with flat feet and high arches are also in the high-risk category.
Obviously, the main topic of this article is one of the options when it comes to managing PF: plantar fasciitis taping. Taping is a technique where you apply tape to the foot or feet in a certain way so that pressure on the strained tissue is decreased, making it easier to walk and reducing or eliminating pain.
The taping can be a bit complex and often requires a video to demonstrate properly.
KT Tape makes taping for plantar fasciitis easier by offering tape that is already cut to length with adhesive, and has a number of videos for taping plantar fasciitis. However, while taping is one effective method for treating and managing PF, there are many more methods out there that you should know about and even try if you are experiencing this condition.Purchase
Below are a few videos that demonstrate the proper way to tape your feet for maximum relief:
Alternative Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
Obviously, you can use standard pain management techniques for this condition. You can take over the counter pain medication, but particularly effective are a class of drugs called NSAIDS, standing for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These reduce swelling and help with the pain.
Taking a break is another effective treatment for PF, especially if your injury was caused by the activities that you’re taking a break from. Rest from the impact of the floor and your foot can be effective but you shouldn’t skip physical activity completely either.
- Stretching techniques: There are a number of stretching techniques that can actually be used in conjunction with taping plantar fasciitis. There are calf and foot stretching techniques that are designed to reduce the tension of the tissues there that have been strained.
- Icing the Area: Using ice for 15-20 minutes several times daily could help to relieve pain.
- Changing Shoes: If your shoes are not supporting your feet, or if your shoes have been worn out, replacing them will need to happen before you start to get relief. Stores with orthopedic supplies often have shoes for sale that will help treat PF and they also have splints that you can use to rest the area. However, this will not be a long-term solution.
- Steroids: In some cases, your doctor may be treating you for PF rather than you treating yourself. One of the options at your doctor’s disposal is the injection of a steroid that will reduce the swelling considerably.
- Casts or Splints: Your doctor might opt to outfit you with a walking cast or a night splint, which is a cast that is flexible enough to allow you to bend your knees and walk with it on. The bottom of the cast is curved to allow you to walk while wearing it on your foot and protecting yourself from pain and further injury.
- Shock Waves: A treatment that has not been shown to be effective but is still often used is shock wave therapy. Shock wave therapy is directing sound waves to the sole of the foot. This can be a painful treatment at first, and most patients and reputable health professionals skip it.
- Surgery: Finally, the last option that your doctor has at his or her disposal is surgery. Surgery is almost never done for plantar fasciitis. An exception might be made if every single one of the treatments listed here and failed to work at all, and you are experiencing debilitating symptoms that make it difficult to walk or live your life. Normally, doctors will not even consider surgery for PF unless your symptoms have been a problem for at least six months to a year.