Does Your Heel Ache? 7 Ways to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain (specifically in the heel). After I started showing symptoms of it (and consequently started complaining about it) I was surprised to find out that this rather fancy sounding condition affects many more people than I ever suspected.

Brock Armstrong
5-minute read
Episode #413
Photo of a female runner with heel pain

6. Graston Technique or Scraping

In the Graston technique, a trained professional (don't try this at home, kids) uses a small stainless steel instrument (like a dull butter knife) to apply progressive, targeted pressure to the plantar fascia. This targeted pressure breaks up adhesions and scar tissue in the inflamed, damaged ligament, which can improve blood flow and encourage healthy tissue to regenerate. The Heal that Pain website explains more about Graston and PF. 

7. Toe Alignment Socks

Foot or toe alignment socks are designed to help align the toes back to their more natural (non-shoed) position. The socks work by allowing you to passively stretch your toes apart, so you can return to walking the correct way. The socks feature spacers between the toes, much like the ones you may use while you are painting your toenails. If you have a baby or toddler available, take a look at their toes and then look at yours. See how their's have some air between them and yours are all bunched together? That is a result of wearing shoes for umpteen years and is exactly what the socks are aiming to counteract. And did I mention how good it feels?

For a demonstration of how good this feels, just slide your fingers between your toes and leave them there for a couple of minutes. Right? After years of wearing shoes that mash our toes together, returning them to their natural state will take longer than you can likely sit and hold your toes apart, which is why I ordered the socks.  

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Keep in mind, this is a list of a few things that worked for me, but it doesn't mean that it is the "one cure to end all heel pain." The best way to help your Plantar Fasciitis is to be proactive about preventing it from happening to you in the first place (or preventing it from returning to you in the second place).

Do some regular stretching routines, allow your feet to return to a more natural position by letting them be free (and naked) as often as possible, roll your feet out if you have been on them all day or have been wearing tight shoes, jam your fingers between your toes now and then, and basically never forget about your feet. Those little piggies need some love and attention too!

For more heel info, foot tips, and to join the painful conversation, head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy or twitter.com/getfitguy. Also don't forget to subscribe to the Get-Fit Guy podcast on Apple Podcasts, StitcherSpotify, Google Play or via RSS.


About the Author

Brock Armstrong

Brock Armstrong is a certified AFLCA Group Fitness Leader with a designation in Portable Equipment, NCCP and CAC Triathlon Coach, and a TnT certified run coach. He is also on the board of advisors for the Primal Health Coach Institute and a guest faculty member of the Human Potential Institute. Do you have a fitness question? Leave a message on the Get-Fit Guy listener line. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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