Managing the pain from chronic plantar fasciitis can feel like a full-time job.
But when most of your waking hours are spent at an actual full-time job (the one that pays your bills!) it’s not always easy to work in pain relief.
Thankfully, many simple yet effective treatments for instant plantar fasciitis relief can be done on a quick 15-minute break, behind a register, or even right beneath your desk.
Ready to try a few fast plantar fasciitis treatments at work? We’ve compiled 10 fast, effective methods that will leave your heels and arches feeling great–without raising any eyebrows from your coworkers!
1. Have a Ball
Keep a golf ball or Mobility Ball in your purse or desk drawer for a cheap, effective massage tool to provide comfort and pain relief throughout the day. Use the ball while sitting at your desk, or take a quick break from standing to roll the ball beneath your foot while applying steady pressure.
Pressure from this massage distracts the pain receptors of the brain, sends blood flow to the arch and heel, and breaks down painful adhesions (improperly healed tears) on the plantar fascia ligament. For extra relief, put the ball in the breakroom freezer at the beginning of the day!
2. Slip on an Ice Pack
Icing is a terrific way to immediately reduce heel pain from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to be a drippy, messy affair! Use inexpensive Ice Pack Slippers at work, which mold to the bottom of your foot, stay in place with soft velcro straps, and provide relief where you need it most! Ice Pack Slippers can be stored in the breakroom freezer and then slipped on during a 15-minute break while you rest your feet. An easy homemade ice pack can be made by using frozen peas or corn in a plastic bag. These packs conform to irregular surfaces.
There are many stretches that can be done simply and easily on a quick break or beneath your desk. Stretching is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and heal plantar fasciitis, since it improves the flexibility, strength, and stretch of the plantar fascia ligament itself.
If you have access to a wall, a pebble, a staircase, or a belt, you can find instant relief for your heel pain as well as strengthen your plantar fascia over time!
Check out these simple stretches for plantar fasciitis.
4. Try Dry Cupping
Dry cupping might seem a little strange at first. It involves positioning a cup on the skin and creating a vacuum to apply negative pressure that increases blood flow to the area, which reduces pain and breaks up adhesions to the plantar fascia. Dry cupping can be done right at your desk or during a break in about 10 minutes, using kits inexpensive cupping kits.
5. Use Toe Separators
Toe Separators elongate shrunken tendons that have become short and tight, gently encouraging toes to uncurl to a healthy position. Toe stretchers also improve blood flow to the feet, which break down adhesions, improve heel and foot pain, and strengthen muscles and ligaments in the toes and beyond.
Use Toe Separators to gently stretch and align the foot and toes while you rest. Not only will your feet and toes be stronger afterward–they’ll feel great, too!
6. Tag Team Sock Splints and Orthotics
If you spend most of the workday on your feet, you’ll want to use orthotic inserts to cushion your feet and reduce pain while you walk all day long. Inserts made specifically for plantar fasciitis, Heel Seats, raise the foot’s arch to the optimal position to relieve pain from heel spurs, as well as targeting pressure points in the foot for rapid pain relief.
If you spend a lot of your day sitting at a desk, you can use a sock splint to keep the foot gently stretched and relieve pain.
7. Try TENs Therapy
Trans Cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS therapy, is a relatively new treatment for plantar fasciitis that stimulates the nerves in the feet with small doses of electrical current to improve blood flow and interrupt the body’s signals for pain. Some TENS devices look like a pair of sandals that you can discreetly slip onto your feet beneath your desk at work, while others look like a cell phone with electrodes attached.
There’s a good deal of anecdotal evidence that TENS therapy helps reduce inflammation, reduces stiffness and pain to the plantar fascia, and reduces pain while walking and other activities.
8. Work a Washcloth
Bring a simple washcloth with you to work for a simple, fast pain-relief method on a break! Simply sit on a chair or at your desk, and put the washcloth on the floor in front of your feet. Then, using only your toes, attempt to pull the washcloth underneath your feet. (Watch this video to see the process).
It’s a deceptively simple exercise that strengthens and builds weak muscles in the feet that contribute to plantar fasciitis. Make sure you do this stretch with both feet, not just one!
9. Get Creative with a Water Bottle
Chances are, you have a water bottle at your desk or in the break room. With this simple remedy, you can turn in into a great tool to treat plantar fasciitis. Similar to the ball stretch, simply sit in a chair and roll the water bottle between the heel and ball of your foot ten times, then switch sides. Apply steady pressure, but never to the point of pain. For extra healing and relief, freeze it beforehand!
Watch this video to see how it’s done:
10. Throw the Book at Pain
Most offices have at least one thick book lying around (the employee handbook, perhaps?). Use it on your break to get quick pain relief for plantar fasciitis and strengthen the ligaments and muscles in your feet!
Place the book about two feet away from a wall. Then, stand on top with your heels hanging off the back edge. Slowly lean forward with your hands in front of you until your weight is supported against the wall in front of you. Hold this pose for 15 seconds, straighten your back, and lift your feet up and down using the balls of your feet. Next, do this stretch with one foot–then switch sides!
A full-time job doesn’t have to mean hours without pain relief. Whether you spend most of your time at a desk or on your feet, keep these instant plantar fasciitis relief methods handy to keep your heels and arches happy all day long!