Self-Care During Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Your feet seem like just another body part until something happens to them, like plantar fasciitis. That's when you realize just how important those body parts are. If your feet hurt, your ability to take care of even small tasks can fade quickly as you try to combat pain. The condition is treatable, and you can see a lot of improvement through self-care measures done simultaneously with treatment from a podiatrist.
Stretch and Strengthen Each Day
Your podiatrist can give you specific stretches and foot exercises to do daily to help your feet feel better. In general, you want to do very gentle movements that strengthen the muscles in your feet while keeping them flexible. Runner stretches are a good option, though you should always check with your doctor before adding new stretches into your healing routine.
Check out Some Heels
Speaking of healing your heels, sometimes a slight heel on your shoe can help your feet feel better. You should only try this after you get permission from your podiatrist and if the heels would normally feel comfortable to you. In other words, if you normally hate wearing shoes with any sort of heel on them, or if heels above a certain height (e.g., 1/2-inch, 1-inch, etc.) normally feel bad to you, don't force yourself to wear those.
Double-Check Your Arches
Arch support is usually cast as the key to preventing a flare-up of fasciitis, but that arch support has to be correct. You don't want to wear shoes that have no arch support at all, but if you have naturally small or low arches, you don't want to wear shoes with rigid, high arch support -- that will just add to the pain. This is one time where being very picky about your shoes pays off because when you have plantar fasciitis, you do not want even a hint of discomfort in any of your shoes.
Part of the treatment for plantar fasciitis is taking pressure off the heel, but that means the pressure is just going to move forward to the ball of your foot. You need to cushion that part of your foot as well so that you don't end up with additional foot problems. Insoles designed for plantar fasciitis treatment, as well as generally good cushioning (no flat, hard sandal soles for you), are perfect for providing that padding.
Your podiatrist will give you more specific guidelines that are tailored to how your own feet seem to be doing. Follow the treatment plan carefully to get your feet back to normal.