Short Term TreatmentWithout question, the first thing any doctor will tell you to do is rest the affected area. You’ll have to temporarily stop whatever activity that is likely causing the inflammation. Some people who suffer from plantar fasciitis report that rest can go a long way to relieving their pain and heeling their injury; however, rest alone will only go so far to treat PF. Stretching at home can help to build flexibility and strength within the arch of the foot and the plantar fascia, but are usually most helpful in reducing the chance of a PF flare-up and not totally healing the pain and injury caused by the condition.
Long Term, Lasting TreatmentNew treatments are developing year-after-year for plantar fasciitis, but here are the best ways to get lasting results from your treatment.
Weight LossMost Americans carrying a few extra pounds have weight loss as their goal, but this is of the utmost importance for sufferers of PF who’re overweight. Even losing 5-10 pounds can offer notable results to relieve the pain from plantar fasciitis.
Physical TherapyGetting a physical therapist can be a very effective way to help heal plantar fasciitis. For short term relief, therapists will use moist heat, ultrasound and therapeutic tapping. In order to give you long term, lasting results, therapists will use multiple treatment methods to aid your relief including stretching, ice massage, and therapeutic exercises in order to strengthen the tight muscles of the foot and fascia.
Cortisone ShotsIf you find that more conservative methods of treatment aren’t successful in treating your plantar fasciitis, anti-inflammatory agents can be injected by your doctor. However, cortisone shots only mask the pain and do not heal your PF. The underlying condition still remains, and you may need more shots in the future. If your condition is serious, so painful that you cannot even do any therapy, cortisone shots might be a good first step that will allow you to treat your plantar fasciitis.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave TherapyExtracorporeal shock wave therapy is a non- invasive procedure that may be the last step before surgery. This procedure is believed to relieve chronic PF pain by tearing the scar tissue, new blood vessels then form and the healing process starts anew. Ironically, this method seems like you’re reinjuring the affected area. In general, this treatment is only done for those patients who’ve been suffering from PF pain for over a year and have seen little to no relief with more conservative methods. Since this treatment method is fairly new, it may not be covered by your insurance.
If your pain is persistent after months of conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend plantar fascia release surgery to help relieve your pain. In this procedure your doctor will actually cut a part of the plantar fascia to help relieve tension in the tissue. Typically, this surgery is only performed on 5% of PF cases. Patients can expect to wear a brace, cast or cam walker for 3 to 6 weeks following surgery.