Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis
Many of the conservative treatment options for plantar fasciitis are things you can do at home. They involve a combination of resting the foot, avoiding activities that can aggravate the condition, therapies to manage the pain, and techniques to strengthen foot muscles during recovery.
Resting the Foot
Roughly one quarter of patients with plantar fasciitis cite rest as the treatment that works best. (6) Avoiding weight-bearing activities and pressure applied to the foot helps relieve pain during the healing process.
Still, rest can be especially difficult for athletes and people whose jobs require a lot of walking and standing. Active individuals can achieve “relative rest” by choosing activities that minimize impact and pressure on the plantar fascia, such as swimming and upper body weight machines. (7)
Icing the Foot
Like certain medicines, ice can be an effective anti-inflammatory. Typically, cold is applied to the area that hurts or is inflamed for intervals of 15 to 20 minutes.
Cold therapy can be achieved by applying an ice pack to the painful heel or by soaking the heel in an ice bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Icing can be especially helpful after exercise or at the end of a workday.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Exercise can help relieve plantar fasciitis pain, while also loosening tight muscles, increasing flexibility, and building muscle strength in the foot.
Simple stretching techniques may incorporate stairs, walls, boards, and objects that the arch of the foot can be rolled over. Strengthening exercises may involve picking up small objects like marbles or coins with the toes. A physical therapist can show you how to perform specific exercises to stretch and strengthen your lower leg and foot muscles, which will help stabilize your ankle and heel.
Studies have shown that many plantar fasciitis patients cite stretching and strengthening exercises as the most helpful part of their treatment. (6)
Orthotics, Arch Taping, and Night Splints
Orthotics, or orthoses, are devices that are worn in a shoe or on the foot to manage pain and walking problems. They include foot pads or heel cups that cushion a sensitive area on the foot like a callus, and shoe inserts that provide support and correct ankle or heel movement.
Arch taping involves applying athletic tape to the foot to reduce stress on the ligament by keeping the fascia from moving too much. Some people tape their arch only before physical activity, while others apply the tape to reduce strain throughout the day.
Night splints are devices that gently stretch your calf and the arch of your foot. They are worn at night and work by supporting your foot with the toes pointing upwards while you sleep.
Video: Plantar Fasciitis Injection Right Heel, Jenny Assists!
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