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Conservative Treatments For Plantar Fasciitis – A Comprehensive Guide

There are multiple treatment options available for plantar fasciitis, catering to individual needs and preferences. In addition to over-the-counter medications and the popular RICE protocol (which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation), healthcare professionals also offer more advanced techniques such as steroid injections. These injections can provide targeted relief by reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. It is important to consult with a medical professional to determine the most suitable treatment option based on individual circumstances and severity of the condition.

In addition to providing expert podiatry services, our skilled podiatrist will also recommend a range of stretching and strengthening exercises. These exercises have been specifically chosen to target not only your foot and calf muscles, but also other areas of your body. By incorporating these stretches into your routine, you can expect to experience more comfortable walking and running, while simultaneously minimizing strain on your plantar fascia.


Stretching is considered one of the most effective conservative approaches for treating plantar fasciitis. By incorporating regular stretching exercises into your routine, you can not only alleviate muscle tension but also enhance your walking posture. This combination of stretching and retraining your gait can significantly reduce pain for many individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Stretching can help increase the flexibility of your “posterior chain” muscles, such as the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus), Achilles tendons, and plantar fascia. When these muscles become tight, it alters how your foot moves and puts more strain on your heels – leading to pain and inflammation.

In a study, Benedict DiGiovanni and colleagues randomly assigned participants with chronic plantar fasciitis to either formal physical therapy or home-based stretching for plantar fascia. They observed that both treatments significantly reduced pain at first step in the morning, average pain at medial plantar calcaneum region over 24 hours, pressure pain threshold, visual analog scale-foot and ankle score.

Over-the-Counter Orthotics

Plantar fasciitis is a commonly experienced foot issue that can affect anyone, whether you are an elite athlete or just take care of yourself on weekends.

Thankfully, there are some non-invasive treatments that can provide symptom relief without the need for surgery. Orthotics for example can help reduce heel pain and enhance function.

Over-the-counter orthotics are available from many companies, such as Sole, Lynco, Sorbothane and Orthaheel. These may come in full or partial lengths with gel or foam padding to provide comfort and relieve pressure points. Orthotics have been proven effective at decreasing overpronation–the tendency of your foot to roll inward when walking–which occurs when walking.

Physical Therapy

Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by repetitive stress on the plantar fascia, an elastic band of tissue running from heel to base of your foot. This supports your arch and absorbs shock when you walk or run.

Running, those who stand for extended periods of time, and those with obesity are particularly prone to this condition; however, it can affect anyone.

Treatments for plantar fasciitis aim to reduce inflammation and help the affected area heal. Common treatments include stretching, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDS, orthotics, and physical therapy.


Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, affecting around 10% of adults. Runners, obese females over 40 years of age and those who work in heavy jobs are particularly at risk for developing this condition.

Most cases of plantar fasciitis respond quickly to conservative treatment, with most individuals returning to normal function within 12-18 months. However, in some cases medications may be required in order to control symptoms and prevent recurrences.

Medication are available both in prescription and over-the-counter forms. Injections of cortisone may be used occasionally, though there is limited evidence to back up their claims beyond temporary pain relief and potential side effects.


Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects around one in 10 people at some point in their lives, often resulting in heel pain that can be debilitating.

Plantar fascia is an elastic band of tissue running from the heel to the middle foot bones, supporting and stabilizing its arch. It also acts as a’shock absorber’ – especially beneficial for people who spend much of their day standing or walking on their feet.

Initial treatment for plantar fasciitis should consist of rest, orthotics, stretching and anti-inflammatory medication. If these are ineffective, steroid injections may be tried; however these don’t always provide long term relief and have potential side effects as well.


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