If you have plantar fasciitis, you’re definitely not alone. One in 10 people experience plantar fasciitis in their lifetime. The chronic pain at the bottom of your foot can be incredibly uncomfortable and make daily activity and exercise uncomfortable.
The good news is that surgery is usually not needed to treat plantar fasciitis. The bad news is that the condition can take several months to resolve.
Our team at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists wants you to heal quickly, though, so we encourage the following four noninvasive treatments.
Resting can be hard because you use your feet all the time. But keeping weight off of your affected foot until the inflammation of plantar fasciitis resolves is key to healing. Avoid activities that aggravate pain, like running, jumping, dancing, hiking, and standing for long periods of time.
Ice helps ease plantar fasciitis inflammation. A bag of frozen peas makes a great ice pack, as it conforms to your foot.
Wrap a towel around it and apply to your heel several times per day for 15-20 minutes at a time. Another option is to soak your affected heel in cold water for 10-15 minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
Stretching the areas that connect to your heel help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia ligament. We can show you appropriate stretches for your Achilles tendon, calves, and bottom of the foot.
Several devices can help improve plantar fasciitis:
These inserts add support to your arch. Orthotics help improve an irregular gait that may be contributing to plantar fasciitis.
You wear night splints while you sleep to keep your feet at a 90-degree angle. Most people point their feet down, which contributes to shortening of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.
Night splints give your plantar fascia a stretch as you sleep. You stop wearing them once the pain is relieved.
A walking boot isn’t usually the first treatment for plantar fasciitis, but when rest, ice, and other conservative therapies fail, we may recommend it. The boot forces you to rest your foot and works best when followed up with orthotics and stretching.
Once you resolve plantar fasciitis, you definitely don’t want it to return. It’s important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight if you’re prone to the condition; extra pressure on the ligament encourages inflammation.
Choose shoes with good support. We can offer recommendations. Ask about having a gait analysis, too, to determine if you’d benefit from custom orthotics.
You need to wear supportive footwear even when you step out of bed in the morning. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces is tough on your foot.
Opt for low-impact exercises, like swimming and cycling. Regularly stretch your calves and feet to keep the muscles from causing too much pulling on the plantar fascia.
Get the relief you need from plantar fasciitis. At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, we’re ready to help. Call our Bethesda, Rockville, or Germantown, Maryland, office at 301-515-0900 or set up an appointment here to get a comprehensive evaluation.