The duration of plantar fasciitis can vary depending on various factors such as age and other risk factors. However, the majority of individuals experiencing this condition can find relief through self-care methods, which typically involve resting the affected foot and applying ice. In certain cases where the condition is severe or the individual is overweight, more intensive treatments may be necessary.
One of the leading causes of plantar fasciitis is the combination of excessive use and wearing inappropriate footwear. However, there are various other factors that can further aggravate this condition. Individuals who engage in regular running, are overweight, or have either flat feet or high arches are at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis, a common condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the heel, can be effectively managed through stretching exercises and foot exercises. These exercises can provide relief and help improve the overall condition. To get started, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist, who can guide you in performing the most effective stretches and exercises. They can also provide valuable advice on proper technique and how to gradually incorporate these exercises into your daily routine at home.
You can also ice your foot several times a day to reduce inflammation and soothe soreness. Covering a frozen water bottle in a towel and rolling it along the bottom of your foot is a simple way to apply ice.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can ease pain and swelling. But they should be taken only for a short period of time and only after talking to a healthcare provider. If you take NSAIDs for more than 10 days, it could weaken your plantar fascia and cause it to rupture.
Walking cast or CAM walker: If your symptoms are severe, your doctor might recommend a walking cast or controlled ankle motion walker to help you walk more comfortably and prevent further damage. This treatment usually is only used when other conservative treatments have failed.
Injections: Your doctor might inject corticosteroids into your plantar fascia to relieve symptoms. They can also use steroid-loaded platelet-rich plasma from your own blood to promote tissue healing. Ultrasound imaging during injections can assist with precise needle placement.
Changes to your shoes and stretches: Try wearing shoes that have better arch support. You can also use specialty shoe inserts made by your podiatrist.
Night splint: A podiatrist recommended plantar fasciitis night splint, or night sling, can help you sleep on your side instead of your back and prevent your plantar fascia from overstretching while you sleep. Not everyone can wear a night splint, but it’s an effective way to relieve pain and prevent a flare-up while you sleep.
If a night splint doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe a custom orthotic to support your arch and improve comfort. This will take time to wear in and get comfortable, but it can help you avoid future flare-ups.
Exercises: Your podiatrist can provide a plan for stretching your foot and calf muscles to strengthen them and decrease tension in the plantar fascia. Taking an hour or two each day to do these exercises will help your foot and heel heal faster.
Surgical intervention: If other treatments haven’t worked, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove a small section of your plantar fascia. This is only needed in fewer than 10% of cases, and the procedure can be done in a minimally invasive manner compared to traditional open surgeries.