Plantar Fasciitis is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. When this ligament becomes inflamed, individuals suffer pain in the bottom of the foot, but it is mostly characterized by heel pain. This is not a condition to be self-diagnosed, but should be done by a physician.
How is Plantar Fasciitis treated? There is no single treatment for plantar fasciitis that works best for everyone; but there are many options are available for relief. After your doctor assesses that your foot pain is definitely Plantar Fasciitis, his first recommendation will probably be to try resting your feet by cutting out activities that make your foot hurt. Walking or running on hard surfaces will have to stop. To reduce the pain and swelling, put ice on your heel and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Aleve.
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Plantar Fasciitis Treatments through Stretches
Basic exercises for Plantar Fasciitis include calf stretches and towel stretches several times a day, especially when first getting out of bed. The calf stretch should be done 3 to 4 times a day, 5 days a week. Stand facing the wall with your hands at about eye level on the wall. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind the other leg. While keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds; repeat 2 to 4 times. The towel stretch may be done while sitting up in bed or on the floor. Hold both ends of the towel while the middle of the towel crosses the ball of your foot. Keeping knee straight, pull the towel towards you. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, repeat 2 to 4 times.
Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
When suffering with Plantar Fasciitis, it is also good to purchase a good pair of shoes. These should be shoes with good arch support and cushioned sole. If unable to find shoes meeting these criteria, investing in a pair of heel cups or shoe inserts (orthodics) is advised. Wear these in both shoes even though only one heel my be hurting. Heel cups and orthodics help to distribute pressure to your feet more evenly.
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
If these conservative measures do not offer any relief, your doctor may put you in a plantar fasciitis night splint, which is fitted to your calf and foot. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight so that they can be stretched more effectively.
Short Leg Cast Treatment
Another option is the short leg cast that goes up to but not above the knee. This cast is worn 3-6 weeks and is often successful in relieving the pain and inflammation. Alternatively, a cast boot, which looks like a ski boot, may be prescribed. It too is worn full-time, but can be removed for bathing. If the use of a cast does not work, your doctor may recommend steroid injections. These injections provide lasting relief for most patients, but are very painful and not for everyone.
This condition is often caused by too much weight on the feet. As much as you might not want to hear this, you may need to look at losing some weight if you are obese. Less weight will put less pressure on your heel and may allow the condition to properly heal.
Don’t Do the Same Things
Finally, you may want to look closely at your activities and make some changes. If you are participating in a sport that is causing this condition, take a break for a few months or stop completely. If say running 10k a day is causing that pain, cut back the amount you run, change your shoes, etc. Changing your routine may help lessen the pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Surgical treatments
There are very few people that will have to have surgery. The procedure detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Surgery is generally an option when the pain is so severe and all other treatments failed. Side effects include a weakening of the arch in your foot, but relief from the constant pain.
So there you have it, a list of SOME of the more popular cures for plantar fasciitis. I don’t want to promise you a definite cure here, but it’s definitely possible to treat this condition through one of the treatments listed above or some combination of them.