Proper foot care and maintaining healthy, strong feet can save you from foot pain and disruptions with your activities. Plantar fasciitis may be difficult to prevent as symptoms often don’t begin until the tissue damage has been done and you’ve had the condition for awhile. The trick is to take care of your feet, as you would the rest of your body, to stop any conditions from starting.There are a number of things you can do to keep yourself healthy and prevent further damage.
What’s on Your Feet?
Wear proper footwear for the activity or work you are participating in – ensure it is comfortable and there is padding, a stiff sole and sufficient arch support (especially if running). If purchasing new shoes leave a 1/2 inch space between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe; try to buy them in the late afternoon, as your feet swell during the day. Properly sized footwear made out ofbreathable and flexible materials will also help prevent against corns, calluses and bunions (try to avoid vinyl or plastic). Foot devices or inserts may help to ensure support and cushioning.
Treat Your Muscles and Tissues Right
Always warm up and cool down your foot and leg muscles before and after working them, and learn the proper form and techniques for your activity.
Avoid doing too much too soon to give your body an opportunity to build up its endurance. This is especially important when participating in a new activity. Gradually increase your participation to prevent overstraining your muscles. Also vary your routines and the type of terrain you are participating on to provide relief and avoid overstressing the same area on your foot. Avoid walking on your toes, up stairs or walking barefoot whenever possible.
Stretching and strengthening exercises will help to keep your feet strong and supple, which will prevent further injuries. It is important to build the strength of your toe flexors, as well as your foot, lower leg and hamstring muscles to ensure proper muscle balances.
Regular endurance activities such as swimming, water aerobics, or biking will help to keep your body healthy and prevent foot tension. Follow this by gently massaging your feet after activities or long periods of standing to ease any tension in your feet.
Do Not Overload Your Feet
Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if required. Your feet carry the load of your body so there will be less stress on the plantar fascia if there is less weight to carry. Eating a balanced diet will help to ensure optimum health.