Plantar fasciitis is the single most common heel pain condition in adults, affecting millions of people each year. If you feel a stabbing ache in the bottom of your foot each time you set your feet on the ground in the morning, after a nap, or even just after a lengthy sit at home or work, there’s a good chance you’re one of them.
There are multiple treatment approaches that can be successful for plantar fasciitis; depending on the severity or underlying causes of your condition, some methods may work better than others. That said, plantar fasciitis can often be treated at home, and that’s usually the first-choice approach in many cases.
To start, give yourself a few days of rest—avoid aggressive activities that can trigger pain, such as running or sports, and prop your feet up when you can. Icing or even massaging can help you manage pain, too. Finally, a few times per day, practice simple exercises at home that help you stretch out and loosen your sole, Achilles tendon, and calves. Standing calf stretches, rolling a tennis ball or water bottle under your foot while you sit, and even using your toes to drag a towel across the floor or pick up small objects like marbles are all great ones to try.
You should also check your shoes and assess whether they might have contributed to your pain. High heels, flats with no support, or even once-effective athletic shoes that have since worn down and lost the “springiness” in their midsoles could be putting undue stress on your arch and heels.
If plantar fasciitis pain remains stubborn and consistent despite such self-care measures, it’s time to take the next step and give us a call. Depending on our assessment, we may suggest or recommend other treatment techniques, such as:
- Additional stretches, exercises, and physical therapy strategies
- Custom orthotics
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy, a non-invasive treatment method that uses guided pulses of energy to stimulate pain relief and repair mechanisms in your cells
- Surgery to release the tight plantar fascia. This is usually only performed when alternative treatments have failed to provide the necessary relief.
The one thing you should never do if you have plantar fasciitis? Hobble through hoping everything will just turn out okay. That’s a great way to develop chronic pain or an even more serious injury. Instead, seek out care early in the process, before complications can develop! To set your appointment with the Fixing Feet Institute team, please call (623) 584-5556.