How long does plantar fasciitis take to heal?
The speed of healing for a condition will vary depending on the severity, cause, and promptness of treatment. In most cases, nonsurgical treatments are effective in accelerating the healing process.
When it comes to alleviating pain, there are several options you can try at home. Stretching exercises, rest, applying ice, and taking pain relievers are commonly effective methods. However, if the pain continues to persist, it may be necessary to seek assistance from a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance on simple exercises specifically designed to reduce discomfort, offer advice on how to properly support your feet, and suggest appropriate shoes or insoles if needed.
In addition to providing medical treatment for your inflammation, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications called NSAIDs. These can help alleviate the inflammation and discomfort. They may also recommend incorporating stretching and massage techniques into your routine to enhance circulation to your foot and calf muscles. If necessary, they may even refer you to a physiotherapist or a foot specialist, also known as a podiatrist, who can further assist with your condition.
Choose supportive shoes: Wear shoes that have a low to moderate heel, thick soles, and good arch support. They’ll reduce strain on your feet and promote healing.
Icing your foot: Apply a bag of ice or a cold pack to the area for 15 minutes three or four times a day to reduce pain and inflammation. You can also soak your feet in an ice bath, or roll a frozen water bottle under your foot for a gentle ice massage.
Stretch your arches: To relieve tension in your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles, do stretches at home. You can do them on the floor or by rolling a tennis ball between your heel and ball of the foot. Try ten repetitions, then switch sides.
Use orthotic inserts in your shoes: These add extra support and cushioning to your feet. They’re available in many pharmacies and can help reduce stress on your plantar fascia.
Change your activity: Avoid high-impact activities and focus on lower impact ones instead. For example, yoga and biking are great options for those with plantar fasciitis.
Strengthen the calf and foot muscles: Exercises that strengthen your calf and foot muscles will keep plantar fasciitis from coming back.
See a podiatrist or a physical therapist for treatment: A podiatrist can treat your plantar fasciitis with special taping, padding, and supports for your feet and lower legs. They can also show you stretches that will improve your flexibility and balance.
Surgical intervention: Some patients will need surgery to repair the damaged plantar fascia. This procedure can make the problem go away faster and can be done without a long recovery period.
A physiotherapist or podiatrist might also suggest specialized treatments to help you relieve the pain and improve your balance, mobility, and strength. Depending on your location, you might be able to self-refer or you may need to visit your GP first.
It’s best to seek treatment for your plantar fasciitis as soon as you notice symptoms. If you wait, the condition can get worse and cause other injuries in other parts of your body, such as your knees or back.
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