You may not have heard of plantar fasciitis. It is an ailment of the foot that can cause chronic pain or discomfort. If left untreated, the pain can worsen, cause other issues, and require a much longer recovery time than previously needed.
Treatment and care are crucial for plantar fasciitis, and in this post, we will discuss some of its treatment options and useful care tips you can do at home.
But before we get into treatment options and care tips, let’s first discuss what exactly plantar fasciitis is.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a ligament at the bottom of your foot. It is a thick fibrous band of tissue that starts from the heel of your foot and stretches to the base of your toes. It is an important ligament because it helps balance, stabilize, and support your foot as you manoeuvre through activities.
However, if you strain it or overwork the plantar fascia, it acts like most tissue and becomes injured and inflamed. It becomes painful to let your body and brain know that it is under stress. This pain and discomfort from an overworked or strained plantar fascia are medically termed plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is typically a chronic pain and may commonly develop when you change your training or daily routine. Moreover, chronic stress on the plantar fascia commonly leads to strain on the heel bone, which results in heel spurs.
However, in most cases, the pain is not caused by the heel spurs. Rather, it is asymptomatic. Typically, when the chronic stress on the plantar fascia subsides early, the strain on the heel bone subsides along with it.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options and Care Tips
Here are some treatment options and care tips for plantar fasciitis.
Treatment may include one or more of the following options, and it will depend on your doctor’s recommendation. Most doctors typically suggest a personalized combination of options for quick and effective recovery.
- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (The RICE Protocol) is a very common treatment option.
- Exercises for stretching and strengthening the plantar fascia help rehabilitate and prevent re-injury
- Foot and ankle strapping to limit strain
- Modification of your training routine to adapt to your injury is also common.
- Custom foot orthotics help ensure your training routine is nominally changed whilst supporting recovery.
- Cushioning soles from supportive footwear is quite effective
- Dry needling of surrounding soft tissue helps release tension; it is professionally done by targeting trigger points
- Short-term use of anti-inflammatory medication
- Shockwave Therapy effectively accelerates recovery in a non-invasive manner. High energy acoustic wave pulses are emitted directly into the injured area. The waves stimulate pain relief, increased blood flow, and new blood vessels and collagen formation.
- Foot mobilization technique to restore movement by mobilizing the bones and joints and bones in the ankle and foot
Recovery may take a few days or weeks if proper rest and treatment are practised. However, plantar fasciitis may return if you don’t stretch and strengthen the surrounding muscles and modify your daily training and activity.
Here are some useful care tips you can practice on your own.
- When you wake up in the morning, use your feet to write the entire alphabet before getting out of bed. This helps warm up any stiff formations before your body weight exerts pressure on your feet.
- Alternate your training routine or daily physical activities. You can remain active during recovery by exchanging high-impact activities with lower ones, such as swimming or cycling.
- Avoid being thongs, walking barefoot, or without cushioning because the plantar fascia has to work harder to support your movements.
- Incorporate strength exercises like calf twists and raises. Use support for balance if needed by standing next to a table or chair.
- Ensure your heels are firmly on the ground and place a rolled-up towel underneath your toes
- You can also lightly massage your heel and toes while seated, exerting minimal weight or pressure
Plantar fasciitis results in pain and discomfort, but it is easily treatable if you follow the mentioned care tips and consult your doctor for the mentioned plantar fasciitis treatment options. However, what’s important is that you must take action.
Leaving such an injury untreated will only extend your pain and recovery time. When people ignore the pain and treatments and continue with their regular training and routine, there is a high chance of the plantar fascia tearing or rupturing.
Do not let a simple injury compromise your regular training and routine. Instead, act fast so you can recover faster and return to your normal activity.