Plantar Fasciitis is a foot condition that can cause extreme pain and discomfort. Due to falling arches, excessive running or poorly fitting shoes, the thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot becomes inflamed.
The treatment for plantar fasciitis encompasses rest, taking good care of your feet, using heeling pads, painkillers and exercises. Some patients may need a steroid injection or other treatments if symptoms are more severe.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, ice treatment can help you deal with it. Apply ice to the foot several times a day, for at least 10 minutes per session. Applying ice after walking, exercises or intense activities will relax your foot. One of the best ways to apply ice is to sit on a chair, with your feet on the floor so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle.
Stretching will help ease the pain. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Flex your feet and wrap a towel around the heels of your feet and pull the towel back towards your body. You will feel a stretch in your foot, hamstrings and calves. You can also do the hamstring stretch facing a wall and leaning towards it. Move in a way that you feel a slight stretch from your heel and up the back of your legs. Another exercise that can help you relax is using a tennis ball. Sit on a chair with your feet on the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Place your foot over the tennis ball and roll it around in all directions.
Orthotic shoe inserts under the heel can help ease the discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. Besides, these also align the foot properly by taking stress off from the plantar fascia.
In addition to exercises and treatments, rest is another important aspect that will help relieve the pain caused due to plantar fasciitis. According to the National Institutes of Health, plantar fasciitis is most effectively treated by resting the foot or using crutches to limit the weight placed on the affected foot. Stay off your feet for a few days if possible. Avoid excessive walking or high-intensity exercises.
Soaking feet in warm water helps reduce discomfort and increases blood flow to the affected area. Moreover, it also helps improve healing time.
A temporary switch to swimming and/or bicycling instead of sports those involve running and jumping, shoes with soft heels and insoles, taping the bottom of the injured foot, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and other brand names) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain and physical therapy using electrical stimulation with corticosteroids or massage techniques are among other treatment options.
Most doctors recommend an initial six to eight week program of conservative treatment. If a conservative approach doesn't work, your doctor may inject corticosteroid medication into the painful area or place your foot in a short leg cast for one to three months. If all else fails, your doctor may suggest surgery, but this is rare, and surgery is not always successful.
Read more articles on Plantar Fasciitis.