Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects many people, especially those who spend a lot of time on their feet. It is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. This can cause significant pain in the heel and foot, making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods.
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis pain, it’s important to find relief before symptoms get worse. Here, we have several tips that can help alleviate heel pain.
Rest and Stretch
The first step in treating plantar fasciitis is to rest the affected foot, as the plantar fascia may be inflamed due to overuse. Avoid activities that put pressure on the foot, such as running, jumping, or walking on hard surfaces.
Stretch out your plantar fascia throughout the day to relieve the pain. You should also stretch out your calves, which, if they are tight, can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
- Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Move one foot a step backward and keep the heel flat on the ground. Keep your other leg straight and lean forward into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat several times on each foot.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit down and cross one leg over the other. Hold onto the toes of the foot that is crossed over and gently pull them back towards your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat several times on each foot.
Ice and Massage Your Foot
Applying ice to the affected foot can also help reduce pain and inflammation. You can use an ice pack or an ice wrap that you can conveniently wrap it around the affected foot. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. In addition, massaging your heel can also bring much-needed relief. You can use a deep foot roller or a tennis ball (to roll your foot over) for this purpose, or a heated foot massager machine.
Orthotics and Footwear
Wearing supportive footwear and using orthotic inserts can help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain. Look for shoes with good arch support and cushioning, since this helps distribute weight evenly across all parts of the foot rather than creating pressure points. It can be difficult to know which type of shoes will provide the appropriate support, so consult a specialist, such as a podiatrist or foot and ankle doctor, for their recommendations. A podiatrist can also provide custom orthotics, which are shoe inserts made especially for your feet, which are far more effective than over-the-counter orthotics.
Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis involves exercises and other modalities, such as temperature therapy and ultrasound therapy, to bring about healing to the plantar fascia. A physical therapist is an expert who can teach you exercises to stretch and strengthen the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles, as well as provide other modalities to maximize the results of treatment.
In some cases, doctors may recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, so you are able to focus on other things but the pain. Another type of injection therapy is platelet-rich plasma injections, which involve the injection of a concentrated solution of platelets and growth factors into the fascia to promote healing and reduce inflammation. A podiatrist can determine whether you are a good candidate for injection therapy for plantar fasciitis, and which one will give you the best results.
Podiatrist for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Naples, FL
Dr. Cody Togher is our board-certified and fellowship-trained podiatrist at the Joint Replacement Institute in Naples. Dr. Togher is part of a multi-specialty team and can prescribe a range of treatment options for patients with plantar fasciitis, such as injection therapy, surgery, and physical therapy. We offer our patients comprehensive care for relief from chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Togher, call our office today at (239) 261-2663 or use our online request form.