Grab a Big Bowl and a Book!
Many of you have had plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia) and know how painful and disruptive to your life it is. The plantar fascia is a thick tendon which runs along the bottom of the foot. It basically connects the heel to the toes. When this gets overly inflamed, it becomes nearly unbearable to walk normally. Your doctor will diagnose you with it and recommend treatment. About ten years ago, I suffered a bout of plantar fasciitis. I didn’t know what it was until I went to a friend of mine who was a podiatrist.
There are many ‘cures’ out there, including acupuncture, cortisone injections, shoe inserts, wearing a special boot, and even chiropractic therapies. I’ve talked with dozens of people who have had plantar fasciitis. And, what I’ve found is that no single treatment seems to be the best. Everyone responds differently to different treatments.
What I have learned, though, is that the one thing that is a common denominator in treating it is to try to bring down the inflammation. (Hard to do if you have to stand and walk.) However, the one inflammation reducing therapy which seems to work with everyone I’ve talked to and convinced to try it is cool water therapy.
I was introduced to this method by my podiatrist when I had a case of plantar fasciitis. (Yes, I also had a cortisone injection, too.) He swore the cool water therapy would help. So I tried it. I had been icing my heel all along. But, this brought so much more relief to the painful condition. I have been telling everyone who tells me they have plantar fasciitis about it ever since. I have also found that this works well for any extremity injury that you would normally put ice on – fingers, wrist, elbow. Anything you can fit into a big bowl!
Here are the steps to cool water therapy.
- Grab a bowl big enough for your foot to fit into.
- Move a chair or stool next to your freezer. Gather things to do while you sit next to the freezer for about 25 minutes. For me, this includes a book, headphones, an MP3 player, and a towel.
- Fill the bowl with cold tap water, leaving enough room for your foot to displace water so that water does not spill out.
- Stick your foot into the water when you’re ready to begin.
- After 5 minutes, put 4 or 5 ice cubes in the water.
- Repeat this every 5 minutes, or whenever you see that the ice has melted.
- When 25 minutes pass, you’re done.
- Dry your foot off and stand gingerly on it. It will feel a bit frozen. But, it’s not. You’ve just gradually lowered the temperature of your foot which will help bring down the inflammation.
- Repeat this 2 or 3 times each day, especially after you’ve worked out.
It should feel quite a bit better. But, it will take a while before plantar fasciitis goes away. If you are vigilant with the cool water soaks, you can reduce your downtime. If you use this cool water therapy along with whatever your doctor, or doctors, tell you to do, I am sure that you will back to your normal lifestyle soon. Try it!
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