Plantar fasciitis pain occurs when the long, fibrous band that connects your heel to your toes becomes inflamed or damaged. About 50% of Americans suffer from foot and heel pain, and more often than not it can be attributed to plantar fasciitis.
Our podiatrists at All Care Foot & Ankle Center in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, can help you get past that horrible pain by helping you understand what plantar fasciitis is all about, and how you can manage your symptoms without extreme measures like surgery.
Here are the top five solutions to plantar fasciitis pain.
1. Ice it
One of the most basic things you can do to alleviate your plantar fasciitis pain is one of the most obvious. Since the pain is caused by inflammation of your ligament, ice is a perfect first line of defense to reduce the swelling, even the internal swelling you can’t see.
Get off your feet — rest is another important factor that promotes healing — and wrap an ice pack in a hand towel and apply it directly to the bottom of your foot. Frozen veggie bags work great in a pinch. Keep it in place for about 15-20 minutes at a time, and repeat 3 or 4 times a day.
2. Work it out
Physical therapy can go a long way in easing your plantar fasciitis pain. Stretches and exercises that strengthen and stabilize the muscles in your foot and ankle not only help relieve your symptoms, they can also keep plantar fasciitis from returning once you’ve recovered.
As with all exercises, talk to your doctor first and start out slowly. If you’re cleared to go, here are a few stretches you can try at home.
- Calf stretches: Place your hands on a wall and place your left leg behind your right. Then bend your right knee slowly until you feel the stretch in your left calf. Hold it for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Roll therapy: Roll your foot back and forth over a water bottle or foam cylinder placed on the floor.
- The big toe pull: In a seated position, place your left ankle on your right knee and gently pull the big toe on your left foot toward you.
For more stretches and exercises for plantar fasciitis, come in and see our team.
3. Drug it
When your plantar fasciitis pain is at its worst, you can reach for some quick relief in the form of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). That’s a formal way of saying ibuprofen, also known as Advil® and Motrin®, or naproxen, also known as Aleve®, among others.
Used in moderation, these medications can temporarily reduce the swelling associated with plantar fasciitis and help you get on with your day. But don’t become reliant on this method, as it only masks the issue. Use it to help you get over the rough patches and continue with your physical therapy.
4. Splint it
One of the most effective treatments for your plantar fasciitis happens in the middle of the night. Wearing a tension splint while you sleep is a clinically proven way to get you through the worst of your pain and cure your condition after about 12 weeks.
The reason it works is that it forces you to relax your foot and ligaments throughout the night. If you’re like most people, your feet are in a plantar-flexed position while you’re dreaming the night away. Unfortunately, this causes your plantar fascia to tighten and shorten. That’s why your first step in the morning is so excruciating.
Your custom splint from our team at All Care Foot & Ankle Center keeps your ankle angle at a comfortable and relaxed 90 degrees. The extended period of rest this gives you allows your plantar fascia to heal and repair.
5. Inject it
If you’ve tried all of these conservative approaches and still can’t seem to get rid of the debilitating plantar fasciitis pain, our doctors may suggest the next level — corticosteroid injections.
Our team will make sure you’re comfortable and won’t feel pain during the procedure, then they inject the medication into the soft tissue in your heel where it can begin to reduce the inflammation that’s causing your discomfort. You need to stay in the office for about 30 minutes after the injection, and then you’re free to go about your day.
In extreme cases, our doctors may determine that surgery is necessary to treat your unique case of plantar fasciitis.
If you’ve been suffering from sharp pain in your foot and heel and are ready to finally get relief for good, call one of our offices or click the “book online” button to schedule a consultation with our plantar fasciitis experts right away.