Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

 •  December 03, 2020

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Plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the plantar fascia that runs along the bottom of your foot, is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Many factors can contribute to this condition including age, long hours on your feet, obesity, high impact exercise, or just the natural structure of your feet. Because the variety of factors leading to this condition are so broad, many people experience pain related to plantar fasciitis. Also, so many of these factors such as age, natural foot shape, and having to stand on your feet for work, cannot be avoided. This can make prevention more difficult but there are great treatment options available.

plantar fasciitis

NSAIDs

Perhaps one of the most accessible treatments for plantar fasciitis is NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen to reduce the pain. In a plantar fasciitis study that looked at various treatments, 76% of participants saw improvement with the use of NSAIDs. This treatment is not a cure and does not treat the root issue, but it can make the condition more bearable.

Stretching and Physical Therapy

Often used along with other treatment options, physical therapy has been shown as effective in reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis. Physical therapy can help to stretch the tendon on the bottom of the foot and reduce tension but the exercises must be practiced on a regular basis and generally viewed as a coping method and not a cure.

Shoe Insoles and Orthotics 

Shoe insoles can help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis by working to address the root cause: the straining and inflammation of the plantar fascia. Depending on the quality and design of the shoe insole or orthotic, it can help to correct anatomical misalignment, distribute pressure, and provide support to relieve the tension on the plantar fascia. Finding insoles that have alignment technology and provide pressure relief is important as not all insoles will be effective when dealing with plantar fasciitis. Shoe insoles combined with stretching or physical therapy seems to be even more successful for treating this condition than either of the treatments on their own.

Other Non-Surgical Treatments

If your plantar fasciitis is chronic and you are beginning to consider surgery, there are a few other non-surgical options you can try first. Shockwave therapy, used to stimulate healing, has been effective in some patients with the effects lasting a few years. Oral steroid therapy can also be used to help lower inflammation, though steroids can come with their own variety of side-effects. Steroid injections at the site of pain are also an option but this will only provide short-term relief.

Surgical Treatment

If the plantar fasciitis is severe and other treatments have failed to provide relief, your doctor may recommend you for heel surgery. Surgery for plantar fasciitis can involve detaching the plantar fascia from the heel bone and can take weeks to heal. This measure is only taken in severe cases. Because chronic plantar fasciitis can lead to such invasive surgery, prevention is key. Having proper-fitting, supportive footwear, using shoe insoles, and regularly doing foot stretches are all ways that you can help yourself to avoid chronic plantar fasciitis, and hopefully avoid surgery.

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