While it's commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis, this is actully a misnomer. The plantar fascia thickens, but does not inflame so the correct term for this condition is plantar fasciosis. It is common, however, to have have inflammation of some of the surrounding soft tissues. This condition is common among adults, especially those who spend long hours standing or walking on hard surfaces. If you've ever experienced the searing pain in your heels, you know how frustrating and debilitating plantar fasciosis can be. Fortunately, there are many natural and non-invasive remedies you can try before resorting to surgery.
Ways to Treat Plantar Fasciosis Symptoms at Home
To understand the treatments for this condition, you need to know what’s causing it. The condition is a thickening or partial tearing of the ligament along the bottom of your foot with inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Prolonged walking, standing, or exercise can further irritate the tissue, so one of the easiest ways to take the pressure off the strained plantar fascia is to rest your feet.
Over-the-counter, non-steroidal pain medication such as naproxen and ibuprofen can also reduce inflammation. Patients can also ease pain in their heels at home with the following.
Stretching your feet and calves can help alleviate tension in the plantar fascia, reducing inflammation and improving foot flexibility. You should do gradual, slow stretching exercises with your knee extended every few hours.
Icing Your Feet
This helps to initially numb the pain, but it’s also effective in reducing heel inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15–to–20 minutes multiple times daily. Elevating your foot above your heart can also help the swelling go down.
Ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of plantar fascial strain, and the right pair of shoes can ease symptoms or eliminate them entirely. Look for footwear with proper stability and support.
A gentle foot massage can help loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce pain and inflammation. Use a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle to roll under your feet, first while sitting and then standing, applying enough pressure to ease tension on the plantar fascia. Calf and hamstring massages can also have a beneficial effect, counteracting the added strain on your lower extremities.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis in Our Lee’s Summit Podiatry Office
Treatment at our office always begins with non-surgical remedies before moving on to more advanced options. A few of our most effective treatments include:
- Custom foot orthotics. Our custom-foot orthotics are specifically designed to fit your feet and offer targeted support and biomechanical control where you need it the most. To make the most effective devices, we take a mold of each foot and examine any problem areas before creating your specific orthotics. Athletic, walking, and dress shoes can work well with orthotics.
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (EPAT). We also offer EPAT, a very effective non-surgical treatment to naturally stimulate the healing of your plantar fascial tissues.
- Aquaroll therapy. Aquaroll treatment involves rolling submerged glass beads on the surfaces of the feet to reduce pain and promote healing in the aggravated band of tissue.
- Laser therapy. This drug-free alternative to heel injections encourages circulation and directly triggers natural tissue healing to help your body repair itself more quickly.