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Exploring Invasive Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Did you know that an estimated 10 percent of Americans suffer from a condition called plantar fasciitis, which often leads to debilitating heel pain? This condition is particularly prevalent among individuals who are older, avid runners, or have jobs that require them to spend significant amounts of time on their feet. Whether you fall into one of these categories or not, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek proper treatment to alleviate the pain and restore mobility.

Plantar fasciitis, a common condition causing heel pain, can be effectively managed through conservative treatments. A majority of individuals experience recovery within a few months with such methods. Incorporating icing to provide relief to the affected area, regular stretching exercises, and modifying or avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain are some of the recommended approaches for managing the condition. These interventions not only alleviate discomfort but also aid in the healing process.

Non-Surgical Treatments

When it comes to addressing plantar fasciitis without surgical intervention, there are various effective approaches available. Resting and allowing the affected area to heal is crucial, alongside incorporating stretching exercises to enhance flexibility and reduce tension. Applying ice to the sole of the foot can aid in pain management and reduce inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also provide relief from discomfort. Additionally, conservative treatments such as utilizing orthotics, night splints, casting, and undergoing physical therapy can assist in resolving plantar fasciitis. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be considered as well. These non-surgical methods provide a range of options for individuals seeking relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms.

When non-preventative treatments don’t help, surgery may be the next step. On average, about 5% of those suffering from plantar fasciitis opt for this course of action in order to find lasting relief.

Plantar fasciitis is typically caused by an accumulation of overuse and inflammation. Overuse typically stems from increased weight-bearing activities like running or jumping.

Factors that increase the risk for this condition include overpronation, a tight Achilles tendon and an abnormal foot structure. Over time, these conditions can lead to degenerative changes to the plantar fascia as well as chronic inflammation that interferes with natural healing processes in the body.

Noninvasive treatment options involve using sound waves to promote tissue healing. Doctors utilize extracorporeal pulse technology (EPAT), also known as soundwave therapy, to deliver mechanical shock waves into the plantar fascia. The sound pulses cause collagen protein healing damage caused by chronic inflammation.


One of the most effective nonsurgical treatments for Plantar Fasciitis is icing the sore spot several times a day. This reduces inflammation and encourages healing in damaged tissue.

Ice is effective because it constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling and inflammation-related pain. You can apply a bag of ice or cold pack wrapped in a towel to the bottom of your arch and heel, or soak your feet in an ice bath to bring down these symptoms.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen can help manage pain. Discuss this option with your podiatrist to see which medication would work best for you.

Other ways to manage pain include stretching exercises and physical therapy. These methods improve flexibility, strengthen lower leg muscles and ligaments, and stabilize the ankle. Furthermore, they may reduce tension in your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon which could aid in relieving discomfort.

Physical Therapy

When conservative treatments don’t relieve your pain, a physical therapist may be able to assist. Your provider will typically employ various massage and manual therapy techniques in order to loosen tissue in your foot and calf muscles. They’ll also guide you through stretches and mobility exercises in order to realign the body and prevent further injury to plantar fascia.

Your therapist will also assess any muscle weakness in other parts of the body that could be contributing to your discomfort, such as in the feet, hips, or core.

It is essential to address tightness in these groups of muscles, as it can affect your balance and put additional strain on the plantar fascia. Your therapist can use various methods to correct those weaknesses and restore equilibrium; they may include stretches, massages, and techniques designed to gradually recondition your body to move correctly.


Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, an elastic band of tissue running along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Symptoms include stabbing pain in the arch of your foot.

Surgery for plantar fasciitis should only be considered as a last resort by those who have tried other treatment options without success. According to the NHS, less than 5% of their patients opt for surgery when non-surgical options have failed to provide any relief.

Surgery for plantar fasciitis typically entails either an open or endoscopic procedure that cuts part of your plantar fascia ligament and releases tension in your foot. Recovery from surgery usually takes a few weeks to months.

As part of your recovery process, your doctor will monitor your condition and prescribe pain relievers to help manage symptoms. They may also suggest physical therapy to stretch both plantar fascia and calf muscle.


You might also like to read:

Plantar Fasciitis
Conservative Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis: A Comprehensive Guide
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors

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