Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options
Plantar fasciitis treatment is aimed at controlling
the inflammation which causes the pain. There are several
treatment options so that each patient can find the
strategies that suit them and their condition the best.
Different treatment options can be chosen, dependant
on the stage and severity of the condition and pain
Rest is the one of the most important treatment strategies
for all cases of plantar fasciitis. Refraining from
physical activity that exacerbates the condition allows
the inflammation to subside, which eases the pain. Resting
the affected foot usually eases the most severe pain
associated with the problem.
Applying ice to the underside of the foot, near the
heel, helps to alleviate even severe pain quickly. Ice
packs are really helpful when the condition flares up
and the sudden severe pain is felt. Applying an ice
pack as soon as possible to the heel relieves the pain
and eases the inflammation. Continuing to apply an ice
pack every few hours, will help to reduce the ongoing
inflammation and pain. By sitting or lying down while
the ice is doing its work, you are allowing the rest
and the ice to work together to bring about pain relief.
When people first experience the pain of plantar fasciitis,
they may reach for over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
medication (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or aspirin, to help
control the pain. By easing the inflammation in the
ligament, these medications help to ease the pain. Some
people find that they need prescription strength anti-inflammatory
medication if the proprietary ones are not effective.
Rest, ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication form
the first approach to treating plantar fasciitis. Some
people only experience the one incidence of the condition
or find that it returns only infrequently. These simple
treatment options may be sufficient in these cases,
especially when followed by preventative measures that
help to eliminate future occurrences.
However, if the condition keeps recurring or you find
that you are constantly suffering foot pain, further
investigation and treatments may be warranted. These
options treatment include:
Exercises: plantar fasciitis exercises are simple stretches
and exercises that can be done at home, usually morning
and night. Exercises that stretch the calf muscles,
Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are very effective
at relieving the condition and easing the pain. Your
doctor, specialist or physical therapist will show you
how to do these exercises correctly.
Orthotics: special shoe inserts help to hold the foot
in the correct anatomical position while supporting
the arch of the foot correctly. These are helpful in
allowing the patient to carry on with their normal daily
activities and to work, pain-free. There are generic
shoe inserts available or you can have your orthotics
custom-made, if your condition warrants it.
Plantar fasciitis socks and splints: these are worn
at night and are designed to keep the foot flexed and
the tendons stretched while you sleep. The arch can't
contract during the night when wearing a splint, which
is what causes the intense pain first thing in the morning.
These treatment measures are effective in most cases
of plantar fasciitis although the condition may return
in the future. For stubborn cases of the condition and
for those that keep recurring over time, there are further
Cortisone injections: injections of corticosteroids
can help to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis but
multiple injections are not recommended due to the potential
for injury to the ligament. There is also a newer method
of delivering the corticosteroids through the skin which
is not painful like the injections.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT): this is new
treatment method for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis.
Sound waves are used to induce healing in the heel and
sole of the foot. ESWT is usually recommended for patients
whose condition has not responded to the previous treatment
options, but before surgery is considered. There is,
as yet, inconclusive evidence of the effectiveness of
Surgery: surgery is considered as a last-resort treatment
option because of the risks and possible complications
of such a procedure. In the most common surgical treatment,
the plantar fascia is detached from the heel bone.
Only a small percentage of patients need these more
advanced plantar fasciitis treatments with the majority
of people responding well to the more conservative treatment
options. You may need to temporarily curtail your exercise
regime, or alter it, but with the correct shoes and
a few simple changes to your lifestyle, these restrictions
should be short-lived.