Plantar fasciitis is the thickening of the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that runs underneath the sole of your foot.
This condition can be caused by any recent injury or damage, or it can also be caused due to the accumulation of the smaller injuries over a number of years.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition which is most commonly found in women and the factors that contribute to this condition includes:
- Being overweight;
- Increasing intensity of your exercise;
- Taking a new form of exercise;
Medical conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis;
- Wearing shoes with thin soles or weak supports;
- Having flat feet or unusual high arch;
- Abnormal foot position or walking style; and
- Having tight heel cords or Achilles tendons.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
The goal of plantar fasciitis treatment is to relieve the pain and inflammation in the heel, improving flexibility and strength, correcting foot problems like excessive pronation and allowing you to resume your normal activities.
The treatment can help you to recover from this problem within a year so that you can be relieved of your heel pain.
Types of treatment
There are different plantar fasciitis treatments options that you will need to follow so that you can treat this condition effectively. These treatments include:
- A heel pad- in this condition a heel pad is used for cushioning the painful heel if you have to spend more time on hard surfaces or on your feet. You can also look for custom made or over the counter orthodontists that can easily fit inside your shoes. These are also constructed for addressing the specific imbalances that you have with your gait or foot placement
- Stretching exercise- you should perform stretching exercises 3 to 5 times a day as it helps in elongating your heels. This exercise is also very effective in keeping all the other foot problems at bay.
- Pain relievers- you can use the over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen as it is very effective in decreasing the pain and inflammation.
- Ice- you can also apply ice packs to your heels or use an ice block to massage plantar fasciitis before you go to sleep every night.
- A night splint- it is used for holding your foot at specific angle as it can prevent plantar fasciitis from shortening during your sleep.
- Ultrasound therapy- it is a very effective plantar fasciitis treatment that can be performed for decreasing inflammation of your heels and it also aids proper healing from this painful condition.
- Steroid injections- using anti-inflammatory steroid injections directly in the tissues around your heel can help in reducing the pain temporarily. But you should not use this injection very often as it can lead to further complications like shrinking of fat pad of your heels which will eventually lead to increase in your pain.
- Shock wave therapy- an effective method for treating plantar fasciitis is the extracorporeal shock wave therapy that involves using high-intensity shock wave to stimulate the healing of plantar fasciitis and it does not involve any incisions to be made as it is a non-invasive method.
- Walking cast- if you are suffering from long-term plantar fasciitis and you are unresponsive to usual treatment then you will be recommended by your doctor to wear a short walking cast for three weeks. It will ensure that your feet will be held in a position that allows plantar fasciitis to heal in the stretched position rather than being in a shortened position.
- Surgery- it is the last resort for you if all the other treatments are not effective and you are still suffering from this foot problem. If your heel problem is truly interfering and debilitating with your normal activities then you will need to discuss the surgical options with your doctor. The most common and effective surgery for this condition is the plantar fasciitis release which involves the release of the portion of plantar fasciitis from your heel bone. Thus surgery is performed through endoscopic surgery or regular incisions in which tiny incisors are made for allowing a miniature scope to be inserted for performing the surgery. There are a large number of patients who requires surgery for treating plantar fasciitis as they are unable to get relief from the other treatment methods.