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How to handle plantar fasciitis and get back to exercise

Lana Bandoim's picture

Is plantar fasciitis disrupting your exercise routine and weight loss efforts?


If you have felt a stabbing pain in your foot that seems to feel worse in the morning, then you have suffered one of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the heel and is characterized by intense pain. The plantar fascia, which is a type of tissue in your foot, can become inflamed and make it difficult for you to walk or stand. However, you do not have to let it stop you from exercising and losing weight.

Understanding plantar fasciitis

To understand plantar fasciitis, you have to become familiar with its risk factors and symptoms. If you are involved in workouts that place stress on your feet and heels, then you are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Another risk factor is being overweight because it adds additional stress. Jobs that force you to walk all day or stand are additional risk factors.

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis tend to be worse in the morning as soon as you wake up and try to get out of bed. You may feel a stabbing pain in your heel that makes it difficult to stand or walk. You may also feel pain after standing for a long period of time or exercising during the day.

Healing plantar fasciitis

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If you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis, then it is important to talk to a doctor and get a diagnosis. In general, an examination and a review of your medical history can be enough to receive a diagnosis. However, in some cases, you may need an X-ray or MRI to eliminate the possibility of other conditions that can mimic the pain. Once you have the right diagnosis, you can take steps to eliminate the pain and regain the ability to exercise again.

The first step to healing is to rest and use ice if necessary. Next, you want to examine the type of shoes you are wearing to make sure they are providing enough support and cushioning. You may need to explore orthotics to make them better. Third, you may want to give your heel the chance to recover by doing less intense workouts that place minimal stress on your feet. You want to avoid long-distance running and marathons while you heal, but swimming is safe.

Other treatment options

If rest, new shoes and less-intense workouts are not enough to eliminate your heel pain, then it is time to explore other options. Your doctor may recommend a night splint that will keep your foot stretched as you sleep. You may also want to try physical therapy because it may help you discover new ways to stretch the plantar fascia.

For intense pain, you can try over-the-counter medications that help relieve it. Your doctor may also recommend steroid shots if nonprescription drugs are not working. In severe cases, you may need surgery to deal with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis does not have to permanently interfere with your dreams of losing weight and exercising regularly. You can seek treatment and deal with the condition. It is possible to return to normal activity levels once you are healed, and plantar fasciitis can become a distant memory.

Image from Pixabay.com and used with permission.