Plantar fasciitis is one of the most painful foot conditions. When the plantar fascia (which runs across the bottom of the foot) is inflamed, you can experience discomfort with every step you take. Since you need to be on your feet for daily mobility, your quality of life can suffer tremendously due to plantar fasciitis.
An inflamed plantar fascia is one of the most common foot conditions that podiatrists or foot and ankle doctors treat. This condition is highly manageable. Below, we talk about plantar fasciitis treatment and where you can go in Naples, FL to seek it.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
While podiatric treatments are individualized to the patient, there are some elements commonly found in every treatment plan, such as:
- Resting your feet to give the plantar fascia time to heal and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain. Activity modification reduces the load on the plantar fascia. So, if you are an athlete that spends a lot of time on their feet, you should scale back and make adjustments to your program. You can still remain active without putting too much strain on your feet.
- Ice therapy is very useful in reducing pain and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the bottom of the feet for about 20 minutes at a time.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises help make the muscles in the foot stronger and more flexible and reduce strain on the plantar fascia. These exercises should be prescribed by a licensed physical therapist.
Plantar fasciitis physical therapy programs include a combination of stretching and flexibility exercises and foot and leg strengthening exercises:
- Calf stretches and calf raises help reduce tension and strengthen the calf muscles, which help with heel pain
- Plantar fasciitis stretches help loosen and reduce tension in the plantar fascia tissue for relief
- Toe curls help increase foot flexibility and reduce pain
- Ankle rotations loosen up the ankles and make them more flexible, preventing added strain on the plantar fascia
- Single-leg balancing exercises to strengthen the muscles in the ankles and lower legs
Your physical therapist will teach you specific exercises and techniques to help with healing and preventing plantar fasciitis flare-ups.
- Footwear modifications need to be made to ease pressure on the plantar fascia and provide support as it heals. A podiatrist may recommend changing your footwear and help you select more flexible, supportive, cushioned, and shock-absorbing footwear, as well as prescribe custom orthotics that are designed to provide your foot’s unique needs. Both methods can help give the inflamed plantar fascia time and the right environment to heal.
- Night splints can also prevent worsening plantar fasciitis pain in the morning by holding the foot in a dorsiflexed (upward) position throughout the night. This stretches the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, preventing tightness. When you wake up in the morning, the plantar fascia will be stretched, helping you feel less pain.
- A podiatrist may also recommend anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain andinflammation in the plantar fascia.
- Corticosteroid injections, which contain powerful anti-inflammatory medication, can also help provide long-lasting relief from plantar fasciitis pain. The medication is injected directly into the affected area of the foot, where the inflamed plantar fascia is located.
- Surgery is typically only considered if other methods do not bring relief. Plantar fascia surgery aims to release the plantar fascia and reduce tension. It is often paired with tarsal tunnel surgery, if tarsal tunnel syndrome is a contributing factor to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Naples, FL
Dr. Cody Togher is our board-certified and fellowship-trained foot and ankle doctor at the Joint Replacement Institute. Dr. Togher treats athletes, weekend warriors, and elderly and pediatric patients with all types of foot conditions. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Togher, call our office today at (239) 261-2663 or use our convenient online request form.