Do you have sharp foot pain when you run? Does it feel like there is a hot knife in the bottom of your foot? Is the pain worst when you first wake up in the morning? You have plantar fasciitis. Below is the plantar fasciitis treatment.
How Do You Fix Sharp Foot Pain?
- Strengthen the plantar fascia
- Restore blood flow
- Weigh less
- Dry needling/ injections
Strengthen The Plantar Fascia
All tissue, regardless of what type (bone, muscle, tendon, ligament) can be strengthened. This holds true for the plantar fascia as well. See video below. The big toe dictates how the foot functions a great deal. To learn about the big toe, click here.
- Allowing the big toe to extend during a calf raise ensures the plantar fascia is strengthened through its entire ROM
- Perform 3 sets of 15 reps in a double leg stance
- If this is easy then perform the same rep scheme in a single leg stance
- Progress by adding reps first and then weight
Restore Blood Flow To The Plantar Fascia
This can be accomplished by 3 different methods, all of which I have seen work well in real life apllication.
- Scraping (Graston, IASTM)
- Rolling with a lacrosse ball
- Night splint
- Scraping is a technique in which you apply a force to the tissue which in turn stimulates healing and blood flow
- Scrape the plantar fascia (bottom of foot) for 3-5 minutes a day
- This is the set we use in our practice
- Scraping is unpleasant in the moment but afterwards you will feel better
Rolling with a lacrosse ball
- I see good results with a night splint on patients in the real world
- Wear this every night to keep the plantar fascia lengthened while you sleep
- See the image below for a quality night splint
This is the part you may not want to hear but you need to. Having a BMI over 27 is the single best predictor for developing plantar fasciitis. Lose some weight and I guarantee your foot will feel better (source).
There are plenty of other ways to exercise and burn calories. Getting sharp foot pain every time you run is not a solution. If running is something you insist on, take a short break and find another cardio machine (bike, elliptical)
Dry Needling Or Corticosteroid Injection
Dry needling falls along the same concept as scraping from above. Small needles are put into the plantar fascia. These cause a small amount of trauma to which the body responds by increasing blood flow to increase healing. The reason this is in this section is that a medical professional has to do this procedure.
Corticosteroid injection is another alternative treatment for plantar fasciitis. However this should be the final measure taken. Although the injection has a good chance to decrease the pain, it increases the risk of plantar fascia rupture. This is only included as an education piece. I do not recommend this procedure.
Plantar fasciitis can be a very painful condition but this guide will fix that issue for you. It is not an overnight fix but the pain should resolve in a few days/weeks. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, then there is a chance you’ve dealt with or are currently dealing with shin splints. For a shin splints treatment guide, click here