Plantar fascia is characterized by heel pain and swelling in the heel or arch of the foot, especially after exertion or long periods of standing or walking. In most cases, physical therapy and medication are the first courses of action. In most cases, orthotic devices such as custom orthotics or insoles help to decrease inflammation and provide relief from pain. The treatment for Plantar fasciitis varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs.
In general, however, the quicker the symptoms are present and the greater the intensity of the pain, the shorter the treatment will take. In addition, high-quality athletes, like a marathon or cross-country runners, might need a longer duration of treatment, as well. Generally, Plantar fasciitis treatment options include stretching. In order to properly stretch the plantar fascia, one must begin by properly warming up the body. Warm-up stretches not only increase the flexibility of the muscles but also improve circulation. This, in turn, decreases pain and increases the range of motion in the affected foot.
One of the most common home treatments for plantar fasciitis is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. While pain relievers provide significant relief from pain, they do not solve the actual problem. Therefore, if you choose to treat Plantar fasciitis with over-the-counter medications, be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided with the medication and ask your doctor or podiatrist regarding potential side effects. In some cases, over-the-counter medications can actually make the condition worse!
There are two major causes of Plantar fasciitis, which are heel pain and inflammation of the ligament at the bottom of the foot. Heel pain is often caused by tight Achilles tendons. Inflammation of the Plantar fascia occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed, which causes the tissue to break down.
If you do decide to treat plantar fasciitis with medications, you should ask your pharmacist or Podiatrist about potential side effects and risks associated with the medications. If you already have a history of Achilles tendonitis, it is wise to start your treatment on the heel of your foot, near where the plantar fascia joins the heel bone. This area is most susceptible to injury. The easiest way to stretch out the Plantar fascia and reduce inflammation is with a stability ball. Initial treatment exercises should be done on a stability ball just using your toes. As you progress, increasing the amount of weight you use on the ball will increase the difficulty of each treatment exercise and strengthen the plantar fascia even more.
Initial treatment of Plantar fasciitis involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and night splints. This helps relieves pain and inflammation during the initial stages of Plantar fasciitis. If pain persists or worsens, your pharmacist or doctor may recommend stronger medication. These prescriptions will most likely be in the form of a prescription-strength medicine such as ibuprofen. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication should only be used for mild to moderate Plantar fasciitis. You should never exceed the recommended dose, and your doctor will tell you why.