Fantasy football owners received some disturbing news this week – Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints has a partial tear in his plantar fascia, causing pain similar to plantar fasciitis. Many people benched him on their fantasy teams, but Graham played in the game anyway, and managed 3 catches for 37 yards, scoring 2 touchdowns.
It isn’t surprising that people assumed Graham wouldn’t be playing in the game against the Buffalo Bills. Every year, 2 million Americans develop plantar fasciitis, and over a lifetime, 1 in 10 people will have experienced it. It is well known that plantar fasciitis is a very painful condition. Patients usually say they have the most intense pain on the bottom of the heel within the first few steps taken in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by overuse of the plantar fascia (mostly athletes,) an increase in physical activity, being overweight, and aging. If you begin to experience pain that you think may be plantar fasciitis, there are a few things you can do at home to ease the pain.
- Calf Stretching – Stand about a foot away from a wall and lean against it, then step back with one leg and put that foot flat on the ground behind you. Continue to lean against the wall. You will feel a stretch – hold it for a count of 10, repeat, and then switch legs.
- Cross Leg Stretch – While sitting, cross one leg on your lap and hold your foot with 1 hand while using the other hand to pull your toes up towards your shin. Hold this for a count of 10, repeat 3 times, and then switch feet.
- Towel Pull – While sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you, take a towel and wrap it around the toes of one foot. Hold onto the 2 ends of the towel and gently pull your toes toward your body while keeping your leg straight. Hold this position for a count of 10, repeat, and then switch legs.
- The Ice Roll – Take a bottle of water and freeze it. Once frozen, sit down on a chair and place the bottle on the floor in front of you on its side. Put your foot on top of the bottle, and roll the foot forwards and backwards for 15 minutes. Refreeze the bottle, and you are ready for your next treatment!
Hopefully these exercises can take away some of the pain until you are able to make it into our Advanced Foot Care office in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Even if you are feeling some relief, it is important to set up an appointment with Dr. Kraus to make sure that your pain is in fact due to plantar fasciitis, and to figure out the best treatment personalized for you.
By Ira Kraus