Plantar Fasciitis Treatment 101
Plantar fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is caused by an inflammation in the heel of the foot. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of heel pain in active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70. It’s primary cause is the inflammation of the thick, weblike ligament connecting your toes to your heel bone called the plantar fascia.
The pain brought on by plantar fasciitis can be debilitating. Luckily there are several in-home remedies that may be able to relieve the pain in your heel. While there have not been many medical studies into their efficacy, these methods have been used by million suffering from plantar fasciitis. You may find that they work better alone or in combination with one another.
- Get off your feet. Let your feet rest by limiting or, if at all possible, eliminate those daily activities which exacerbate your heel pain. When possible, refrain from walking or running on concrete and other hard surfaces.
- Exercising flexibility
Plantar fasciitis can be relieved and even prevented with the use of gentle stretches. Stretching your plantar fascia and calves can allow your muscles to relax and lessen heel pain.
Running is one exercise that should be avoided for a while to allow the plantar fascia to heal. You can exercise without making your heel discomfort worse by swimming and engaging in other low-impact sports. Restarting your running should be done gradually.
While exercising, take a break and stretch to prevent the pain from coming back. Stretching should also be done before working out.
- Wear proper footwear. The right arch support and good shock absorption are essential characteristics of appropriate footwear. Select an athletic shoe or a shoe with a lot of cushion in the sole.
- Always wear your shoes. Put them on as soon as you get up. Not wearing shoes or going barefoot can make the pain worse. Avoid slippers as they don’t have the support that is needed.
- Use shoe inserts. Many retailers carry shoe inserts (over-the-counter orthotics) and heel cups designed to help cushion the heel. Even if you only have pain in one foot, you should always use them in both shoes or you run the risk of developing other conditions.
- Ice your heel. Icing the affected heel will relieve the pain by reducing inflammation.
- Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil), naproxen (for example Aleve) and other over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will alleviate the pain. NSAIDs are most commonly taken orally via pills but many also have a cream that can be rubbed over the sore area.
Rest is recognized as the best treatment for plantar fasciitis by about 25% of patients. Avoiding weight-bearing activities and applying pressure to the foot reduces pain as the body heals. Even so, resting might be particularly challenging for athletes and those whose occupations include a lot of standing and walking.
Active people can attain “relative rest” by selecting activities like swimming and using upper body weight machines that have little impact and pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Shockwave Treatment
Delivering low- or high-energy shock waves to a particular location is the foundation of this therapy. The body responds to the microscopic trauma caused by the shock waves by producing a healing response. It is believed that this procedure aids in the plantar fascia’s healing process.
- Medications and Icing
Several times a day, apply ice to the sore area on your sole to reduce pain and swelling. Additionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs might be suggested by your doctor.
- Stretch you feet and legs. Doing simple exercises like, calf stretches, towel stretches and toe stretches can make your ligament more flexible. It will also build strength in the muscles that support your foot arch. Do them several times a day, most importantly first thing in the morning.
What is the duration of plantar fasciitis?
As soon as you begin treating your plantar fasciitis, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms. However, the time it takes for your plantar fascia to heal might range from a few weeks to a few months. Try the same at-home remedies you previously employed if you start to feel better but then your symptoms come back. If your symptoms seem different or worse than before, consult your doctor.
Best Medical Treatments
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by pain in the heel or arch of the foot due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. There are several medical treatments available for plantar fasciitis, including:
Stretching exercises can help alleviate pain and improve flexibility. The most effective stretches for plantar fasciitis include calf stretches, Achilles stretches, and toe stretches.
Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that can help support the foot and reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. They can be prescribed by a podiatrist or purchased over-the-counter.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. However, they should only be used as directed and for short periods of time.
Physical therapy can help improve flexibility and strength in the foot and ankle, which can alleviate pain and prevent future injury.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
ESWT is a noninvasive treatment that uses shock waves to stimulate healing in the affected area. It has been shown to be effective in reducing pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
Corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area. However, they should only be used sparingly, as repeated injections can weaken the plantar fascia and increase the risk of rupture.
Surgery is usually only considered as a last resort when other treatments have failed. It may involve releasing the plantar fascia or removing bone spurs.
It is important to note that while medical treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, they are not always necessary. Simple lifestyle changes, such as wearing supportive shoes, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding high-impact activities, can often help prevent and manage the condition. Consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management.
When I get plantar fasciitis, will I have to leave work or school?
If an activity you engage in frequently triggered the plantar fasciitis, you might need to take a few days off of work or school while you recuperate. Inform your healthcare physician about your regular activities, especially if your job requires you to stand all day.
For at least a week, you should refrain from participating in sports and other activities that impose strain on your feet. Before starting up your vigorous exercise routine again, consult your doctor.