If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know how much pain and discomfort it can cause. In most cases, plantar fasciitis pain goes away without invasive treatments. However, you have to take it easy first and do some things in order to create the perfect environment for your foot injury to heal.
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis pain, here are 5 steps to help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
One of the best things you can do for plantar fasciitis is to rest your feet as much as possible. This means avoiding activities that put stress on your feet, such as running or standing for long periods of time. If you must be on your feet, take breaks often and try to keep weight off of your heels as much as possible. Avoid going barefoot or wearing just socks when you’re at home. Your feet need support even while at home, so wear orthopedic slippers that cushion and support them.
#2 Apply Ice to the Area
Applying ice to the affected area several times a day can help reduce inflammation and pain in your foot significantly. Try placing an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes at a time multiple times throughout the day. You should start to feel better after the first few days of experiencing symptoms if you keep at this.
Stretching your affected foot is one of the best ways to get relief from plantar fasciitis. Stretching loosens up the plantar fascia, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. Pay attention to your calves, Achilles tendon, and the arch of your foot. Here are a couple of recommendations:
- The first stretch is for the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Sit on the floor with your leg stretched out straight in front of you and a towel wrapped around the ball of your foot. Gently pull on the towel to stretch the calf muscle and Achilles tendon. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.
- The second stretch targets the plantar fascia itself. Sit on the floor with your leg out straight in front of you and place a small rolled-up towel under the arch of your foot (the painful area). Slowly lean forward, keeping your heel down, until you feel a gentle stretching sensation in your foot. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute before releasing it slowly back to starting position.
It is best to consult with a physical therapist or podiatrist if you’re unsure about which stretches are right for you and to make sure you are doing them correctly.
#4 Use Night Splints
Night splints hold your foot in a flexed position overnight, so when morning comes, the plantar fascia isn’t tight from resting all night long in one position. This prevents stiffness and pain upon waking up in the morning, helping reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms. Night splints have been shown to significantly improve symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
#5 Talk to Your Doctor About Custom Orthotics
Sometimes, custom orthotics or shoe inserts are necessary, as your plantar fasciitis may be caused by either flat feet or high arches. Custom orthotics offer superior performance compared to drugstore arch supports, since they are made especially for you using scans of your feet. Custom orthotics are only available at a podiatrist’s clinic.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Baltimore and the Surrounding Areas
Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) delivers comprehensive care to patients suffering from plantar fasciitis. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Marc Lipton, has more than 30 years of experience treating foot and ankle pain and offers advanced treatments for plantar fasciitis, including shockwave therapy, laser therapy, PRP therapy, and endoscopic surgery for plantar fascia release.
We also provide physical therapy services on-site, with licensed physical therapists. To start your treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lipton by filling out our online request form or calling our office at (410) 644-1880.