Plantar Fascitis: Treatment with spike balls and others
07/10/2019 | Catarina Vilela
In the treatment of plantar fasciitis that causes pain in the sole of the foot, a massage with spike balls, tennis balls or any other rigid ball may be used. The treatment will work best combined with other care.
1. Spike Ball Massage
- Spike ball massage is a part of the treatment, relieving the symptoms. However, the cause of the problem will hardly be fully addressed with this massage. Underlying plantar fasciitis may be muscle weakness or high impact. It is therefore important to seek more complete treatment if symptoms do not subside, as plantar fasciitis is a condition that tends to become chronic.
- It is not advised to massage in very sore spots
The points that cause the most pain in fasciitis are the heel base and the inner lateral part. It is not advisable to press these areas too hard as they have an intense inflammatory process that can worsen if the massage becomes an aggression to the tissues.
- How to do then?
Use the spike ball across the full length of the plant avoid the sore spots or decrease the pressure.
Cold relieves pain and fights inflammation. Then you should:
- Apply ice wrapped in a kitchen towel or paper.
- Leave for about 15 minutes.
- Apply twice a day.
Another way to enjoy the properties of ice is to put your foot in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes and let it work for 15 minutes.
Foot and calf massage also helps with treatment, relieving symptoms and is an easy way to feel better and can be done at home and sometimes at work. Moisturizing cream or oil should always be used to better slide your hands over your feet and for a more enjoyable and efficient massage.
Massage has to hurt to take effect ... it's a myth. It's cultural if you think that, but it's not real. The massage should be firm but not hurting. You must feel pressure, not pain.
- Control of pain and inflammation may be assisted with anti-inflammatory drugs.
- The iontophoresis method for corticoid application helps to combat the symptoms of the disease. This method involves applying a solution containing the drug to the skin that is absorbed by applying an electric current.
- Medicines may also be administered by injection, although this method may weaken the fascia and cause it to rupture.
- Physical therapy, the use of shock waves and the use of equipment designed to stabilize, strengthen and extend the fascia are other options available.
- Devices such as ultrasound, laser and iontophoresis can be used together to deflate the fascia, but must be prescribed by the physiotherapist.
Stretching exercises are very helpful in alleviating discomfort. Stretching is a simple technique that can be done at home every day.
Technique for lengthening the fascia:
- grasp the toes by pulling them upwards as far as the pain is bearable.
- keep stretching for 30 seconds at a time.
- repeat 3 times.
7. Splint / splint at night
Splint / splint lengthens the fascia during sleep, promoting flexibility
8. Other recommendations to complement the treatment of plantar fasciitis
- Comfortable shoes.
- Avoid long walks.
- Wear a special insole.
- In most cases it is not necessary to interrupt the activity, but less effort and less impactful activities such as swimming or cycling are recommended.
- Surgery is rarely needed only when the pain is severe and the other measures have not been effective. It consists of the disinsertion of the fascia at the heel level.
They are often affected:
- Women who practice running as a form of physical or competitive activity (higher prevalence in relation to men).
- Drummers, given the position of the foot while playing the drums.
- Long distance runners / marathon runners. The pain may not affect both feet.
- Women who wear high heels daily. Very high deformation deforms the foot and as a result the fascia tissue becomes very tense and inflamed. Inflammation causes pain / twinges that get worse as you move your toes up or down.
- People with excess weight, pregnancy, diabetes and wearing inappropriate shoes.
- Women between 40 and 60 years old, because the fascia loses its elasticity and the fat layer becomes thinner, reducing its protective effect.
- The earliest onset of plantar fasciitis is triggered by activities that involve strain on the heel, such as running, ballet and aerobic dance.
- People with “flat feet”, with a very sharp plantar arch, with an anomalous gait pattern: these characteristics affect the weight distribution and increase the pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Factory workers, teachers and other professions implying standing for long hours on hard surfaces. Hard surfaces can damage the fascia.
Imaging techniques for confirmed plantar fasciitis:
- Magnetic resonance.
- The results show the accumulation of fluid around the plantar fascia and the thickening of this tissue.
- However, it is not always necessary to have exams, as clinical tests that aggravate pain may be sufficient for the diagnosis that can be made by the orthopedist or physiotherapist.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
- It develops gradually.
- Plantar pain in the morning or while walking.
- It affects only one foot (although it can affect both at the same time).
- It is triggered and aggravated by early morning steps, long standing periods or transition from sitting to upright position.
- Heel pain in the mid-bone that resembles a twinge.
Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis
- The diagnosis is based on medical examination, with appropriate tests to evaluate reflexes, muscle strength and tone, tenderness, coordination and balance.
- Radiographic or magnetic resonance imaging can rule out other diseases, such as a stress fracture, a pinched nerve, or a bone spur.
Prevention of plantar fasciitis
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Use of proper footwear and in good condition.
- High heels are not recommended.
- It is not recommended to run barefoot.