When you’ve been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, you know that relief can’t come soon enough.
If you’re like most victims, the burning, aching, or stabbing pain might ruin your morning as soon as you step out of bed. You might get a reprieve as your foot warms up and you gingerly start your daily activities.
But eventually, you’ll climb stairs a little too energetically, or step just wrong getting off the bus, and the pain will flare up again even worse than before. You definitely need to find out how to cure Plantar Fasciitis.
But even if you have what you consider a mild case of this condition, it’s very important to start treating it before it gets worse. It’s not common for Plantar Fasciitis to “go away” on its own. Even if the pain subsides for a time, you need to find out what triggered it and make adjustments so it doesn’t have a chance to return.
There are myriad treatments for Plantar Fasciitis. The reason is that there are many causes for this type of foot pain, and each person responds differently to each therapy. One important thing to remember is that, even if you find successful treatment, if you don’t address the root cause of the problem it will almost certainly return.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue running along the bottom of the foot. It attaches at the heel and then fans out at the base of the toes. It is, essentially, the working “arch” of your foot.
This large, important ligament is a bit like a rubber band. At a certain point in your stride, it is absorbing up to two times your body weight, depending on what activity you’re engaged in—walking, running, and making a fast turn on the basketball court. Find out more about: Running With Plantar Fasciitis.
If this “rubber band” is stretched too tight, it can tear a little bit, either in the band itself or at the connection points by the heel. This leads to inflammation and pain in some or all of the entire Plantar Fascia. Without intervention the damage will get worse: tearing more and more, hurting more and more.
So treatment is very important, and in most cases involves pretty common-sense remedies. But even if you cure your Plantar Fasciitis, it can easily return if you don’t pay some attention to the conditions or activities that caused it. Dive deeper and learn more about this kind of foot pain: What is plantar fasciitis?
How To Cure Plantar Fasciitis
As mentioned earlier, many people find success in curing their Plantar Fasciitis using simple, inexpensive home remedies. It’s very important to remain flexible in your outlook, and willing to move on to the next treatment if you don’t find relief within a week or so. Sticking with something that’s not working just allows the condition to worsen.
In conjunction with the treatments below, of course, it’s imperative to control any risk factors that might impede your progress toward a cure.
1. Plantar fasciitis shoes
Long-term effective treatment will always be individual, and actually, shoes will always be specific to the individual.
How to choose your individual type of shoes? Is there anything like plantar fasciitis shoes? – Yes there is! Such a shoe will reduce the amount of stress that is placed on your feet.
Although you must look for your individual shoes there are some guidelines for a good shoe for someone with heel pain: Plantar fasciitis shoes
If you look hiking, you’re in luck. We also reviewed some of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
2. Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
It may not be immediately apparent, but stretching the calf muscles can be a very effective cure for Plantar Fasciitis, as well as help prevent a relapse.
This is because if there is too much tension on the back of the heel.
When the calf muscles are tight then the sudden force of taking a step translates into excessive, snapping action on the Plantar Fascia. You should, of course, stretch very slowly and gently, otherwise, you’re basically duplicating the injurious action.
It’s also necessary to always stretch before walking—missing just once can lead to an injury that might take a week to heal, and then you’re back at square one.
Lean against a wall, or walk slowly up a slight incline for a good, gentle stretch; or try some of the aerobic stretches you see on the fitness club wall. Learn More: Plantar Fasciitis Exercises.
3. Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Comfortable shoes are a great relief for every man and woman. In fact, they play a vital role in making your day a happy or a sad one. This is because, many people buy shoes, which may look great but is not at all comfortable.
Uncomfortable sandals result in foot aches and other related problems during the day, which will reflect in your mood and make your day terrible.
A good comfortable shoe will make you comfortable all day and keeps you away from stress, making you more proactive and happy. Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis.
4. Plantar Fasciitis Tape
Athletic tape can be used as a sort of homemade orthotic by isolating and immobilizing certain areas of the foot.
You probably won’t do harm by figuring out a taping regimen yourself, as long as it relieves the pain, but you can also find detailed instructions online, or by asking your doctor.
For a certain percentage of people, the above treatments will not cure their Plantar Fasciitis. But there is still a chance that the next level of therapies will help.
Whether or not they are covered by your insurance depends on your policy, but if the condition prevents you from working you’ll probably be able to get some help from your benefits coordinator. Learn more: Plantar Fasciitis Tape
5. Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
Get a referral from your primary care physician to see a podiatrist for a more thorough exam of your problem.
Whether the podiatrist fashions orthotics (shoe inserts) for you or sends your prescription to a laboratory for manufacture, the quality and effectiveness of the devices will be vastly greater than anything your doctor can supply.
It is not unheard of for an over-the-counter or mass-produced orthotic to hurt more than help a Plantar Fasciitis case, so if you’ve moved on to this step, invest in a quality product.
Again, if the orthotic causes you more pain or does not relieve your pain, let the podiatrist know as soon as possible for another evaluation: Curious? get more information: Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
6. Plantar fasciitis Night Splints
These products hold your foot in a gently extended position overnight. The hope is that preventing the Plantar Fascia from tightening up during sleeping hours will lessen foot pain in the morning.
At the same time, it may gradually contribute to lengthening the tendon for long-term relief.
There are several styles of splints—consult with your doctor or podiatrist about which one to try first. Check out our review for the best Splints: Plantar fasciitis Night Splints.
7. Plantar Fasciitis Socks
The plantar fasciitis sock is well designed to treat pain, tightness, and cramping of the foot by stretching the tendon and helping to support the arch and tendons in your foot.
It extends up your leg to your calf for great support and you will find located on the toes of your sock a stretchy elastic strap which must be attached to the loop-hole ring located on the calf part of the sock.
The plantar fasciitis sock stretches the Achilles tendon and calf muscle allowing the foot to heal, reduce swelling, and improve the flexibility of the calf muscle which in return reduces long-term severe conditions. Learn More: Plantar Fasciitis socks.
8. Inflammation Relief
Ibuprofen, aspirin, and Aleve will give you some relief during periods of sharpest pain and will also reduce some of the inflammation that arises from Plantar Fasciitis.
If you can find this kind of medication in cream form, you can apply it directly to the site of pain for the fastest, most effective action.
Other ways to reduce inflammation are to elevate the foot or compress it by standing on the edge of a thick book.
9. Ice and Rest
Plantar Fasciitis begins as a “soft-tissue” injury, and these two treatments can work wonders. The problem is that many people can’t just sit around holding ice on their feet all day. As a compromise, try to refrain from any activity that causes the pain to flare, or that you can feel is extending the bottom of your foot.
Climb stairs slowly, and crab-wise if possible; no running or jumping; if you must stand, sit frequently and gently massage your feet, ankles, and calves.
Since it can take up to three days for this type of injury to reach maximum tenderness, it’s often hard to tell what activity caused it. If in doubt—don’t do it.
A word of warning when using ice: you want to chill the bottom of your foot, not freeze it. If you’re using an actual frozen item (such as a frozen can, or a Ziploc with ice in it), place some kind of barrier between the item and your skin.
Apply the cold therapy for just 5-8 minutes at a time. Five times a day is ideal, but if you can only manage it after your daily activities are finished that’s better than nothing. There are also specialty wraps with cold gel packs inside that are ideal for this purpose—portable, unobtrusive, and convenient.
10. Cortisone injections
Although it may provide relief from pain if you are still exploring less aggressive options to cure Plantar Fasciitis this treatment might be ill-advised. If you totally mask your pain you will not be as able to tell whether other treatments are working.
Cortisone shots are a synthetic version of a steroid your own adrenal gland produces. When people talk about “not noticing” the pain of some kinds of trauma, it’s because the adrenalin their body produced during the time of stress masked or suppressed the normal pain response. An injection of cortisone achieves the same effect, except it is applied directly into the tissue to reduce inflammation, and it lasts for periods of days or weeks.
Discuss this option thoroughly with your physician, therapist, and any other professionals you are consulting. Long-term use of steroids can actually start to have a weakening effect on tendons and cartilage—an effect that can exacerbate the Plantar Fasciitis you already have, and lead to more extensive problems.
There is not much research showing acupuncture to be a cure for Plantar Fasciitis, but some people have found relief using the method—similar to cortisone injections, but less likely to cause additional problems.
Several points on the foot, ankle, and leg may be selected for stimulation, some of it supplemented with tiny electrical pulses. The idea is that acupuncture needles, inserted in specific areas of the body, release endorphins as anti-inflammatory agents.
Most acupuncturists treating Plantar Fasciitis will also include a massage of the calf and foot, and provide instruction on beneficial stretches to use between treatments.
12. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
Moving on to one of the more expensive options for treatment, ESWT should not be considered until the therapies above have been exhausted. The FDA requires that the condition be chronically painful for at least six months with less aggressive treatment before ESWT can be attempted.
The therapy sends shock waves into the foot using a device similar to an ultrasound. Perhaps it stimulates new blood flow to the injured area, promoting healing; perhaps it “reminds” the brain that there’s something wrong there and healing activities should begin again.
Either way, for patients who have found no solutions thus far, and are not willing to take the extreme and most dangerous step to surgery, this might be an attractive option.
There are countless surgeries that an orthopedic specialist might perform in an effort to relieve the pain of chronic sufferers. Very careful consideration of the risks should be taken before resorting to this step. Many patients have found that surgery cured their Plantar Fasciitis—but many have also found no relief or, in some cases, worse pain and more problems following surgery.
DIY Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis
Most home remedies for foot pain, plantar fasciitis included, are aimed at managing the condition so that normal life activities can be continued or resumed.
The most common home remedies include the following:
- advising the patient to put his or her feet up
- applying ice or cold packs to the sole of the feet
- decreasing physical activities that cause pain, such as running, walking, and standing for long periods of time
- switching from vigorous exercise to low-impact exercises which are more gentle on the joints and feet
- wearing shoes with arch supports
- exercises to stretch the arch of the foot
These home remedies are similar in many respects to the treatments that physicians will offer. Arch support shoes, for example, operate on the same principle as orthotics or special shoes for plantar fasciitis in particular.
Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is nowhere more true than in the case of plantar fasciitis. The condition can be debilitating and cause sufferers a terrible level of pain, so it would be best for all concerned to avoid the condition in the first place.
Some risk factors, such as age and gender, cannot be avoided, but many decisions can be undertaken than will serve to prevent the onset of plantar fasciitis. Women who wear high heels on a daily basis are greatly increasing their likelihood of developing the condition. Got warts? Learn how to get rid of Plantar Warts.
Excessive exercises on hard surfaces, especially while wearing shoes that provide insufficient support and cushioning, are another activity to be avoided at all costs.
Well-fitting shoes appropriate to the sports activity being practiced are a must for those who would keep their feet in top condition and avoid the pain and disability that comes hand in hand with plantar fasciitis. Proper stretching both before and after sporting activities can help make sure that tendons and ligaments remain in good shape, unlikely to tighten in later life.
We hope you’ve found this comprehensive plantar fasciitis treatment article helpful. It can feel overwhelming when you suffer from this debilitating condition, but rest assured that you can cure the condition if you are proactive about it (and indeed you must, because plantar fasciitis can severely limit your life).
It can take anywhere from 4 months to several years to effectively get rid of the condition, so it’s important to be patient when trying to cure the problem!
Best of luck with your treatment!!