By Therapist Preferred | January 26, 2022
Got Plantar Fasciitis? Consider These Treatment Options
Have you ever experienced a stabbing pain in your heel after taking the first few steps in the morning? If so, you (and many others) may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately there is generally no “quick fix” for this debilitating ailment but we do have some recommended plantar fasciitis treatment options that may help reduce the length and impact on your daily activities.
The Importance of the Human Foot
It’s estimated that the average person spends over 50% of their day on their feet; clearly, they play an integral role in almost every activity we do. With so much stress on our feet, not surprisingly they contain a complex arrangement with 26 bones, 30 joints and over 100 muscles in each foot.
The foot is vulnerable to injuries, ailments and disorders that can cause short and long term discomfort and inactivity. One of the most talked about (and common) foot related injuries for active people is Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel discomfort was identified as the predominant reason behind intense foot pain by nearly one-third of adult respondents according to various surveys from the American Podiatric Medical Association. One of the most likely causes of heel discomfort is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the thin, long ligament directly beneath the skin on the bottom of your foot that supports the arch of your foot. The inflammation of this ligament is plantar fasciitis.
Individuals with high arches or comparatively flat feet are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. However, these are not the only people prone to this condition. Plantar fasciitis can also happen to those who are on their feet for lengthy periods without wearing suitable supportive footwear. It is also a common overuse injury in various athletic endeavors.
Plantar fasciitis often produces acute pain during the first steps in the morning. The discomfort usually goes away as you move around, but it may come back after extended durations of standing or when a person suddenly stands up after sitting.
The treatment process for plantar fasciitis often takes many months but if you are committed to getting back on your feet, we do have some recommend treatment options.
Treatments for Plantar Fascitiis
Without fail the first step in recovering from your acute plantar fasciitis would be to stop all activities that may be the likely cause of the inflammation and or pain. In the acute phase, meaning the first twenty four hours, utilize ice and anti-inflammatories to reduce pain and minimize edema. After the twenty four hour mark, begin to utilize moist heat and gentle muscle pumping exercises to increase nutrition and blood flow to the area. This is how the real healing begins.
Stretching and strengthening:
A good myofascial stretching and strengthening program when implemented by a knowledgeable healthcare professional can go along way when it comes to recovering from plantar fasciitis. A proper evaluation is required in-order to determine which tissues may need to be stretched versus those tissues that need to be strengthened.
The treatment of plantar fasciitis is only as good as the evaluation. If the plantar fascia has thickened due to chronic stress, a night splint (or boot) may be appropriate to help remodel the plantar fascia. A low load over time has been shown to reduce plantar pain. This splint not only stretches the plantar fascia, but has an effect on the lower leg including but not limited to the gastrocnemius muscles. Quite often the real cause of plantar fasciitis is caused by mechanical joint or tissue issues higher up the kinetic chain.
Compression socks and or recovery sleeves:
No doubt these assistive modalities are a quality choice to help reduce inflammation and promote circulation to the effected lower leg and foot. Each product offers different levels of compression.
Orthotics and comfortable shoes:
Depending upon your foot type and condition, orthotics may be a good option. Orthotics are utilized to reduce pronation or flat feet through support and control of muscular tension in the foot.
A qualified physical therapist can perform a mechanical analysis of your lower limb to determine the cause of your plantar fascia pain. Lets not forget about the gait analysis which is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.
CBD oil extracted from hemp has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. The combination of a fast acting topical CBD cream on the foot, heel and calf along with an ingestible soft gel or tincture may provide natural relief.
In certain cases, cortisone injections are required in-order to reduce pain, inflammation and allow the patient to under go physical rehabilitation. Keep in mind that cortisone shots don’t promote healing, they are designed to ease the pain and swelling.
There are many successful ways plantar fasciitis treatment options using one or more of these techniques. Consult your local physical therapist to have a treatment plan customized to meet your body’s needs.