What Can You Do About Plantar Fasciitis?
If you live with plantar fasciitis, days likely pass where you don’t wonder what you can do to quell the heel pain it causes.
It certainly doesn’t help if you get that “daily reminder” as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning, hobbling around for a bit as that shooting pain works itself out and your feet “warm up” enough to reduce that discomfort.
But then you must go to work, right? Or get that run in for part of your workout? And all the time you’re doing so, you’re wondering whether you’ll have to pay for all that standing or pavement pounding with even worse pain later!
This isn’t a great way to go through life, and it’s time to take control and do something about it!
Perhaps you’ve already tried one or two potential remedies—perhaps something bought over the counter at the pharmacy—and did not get as much bang for your buck as you hoped. Perhaps nothing has really worked at all so far, and you’re ready to resign yourself to having painful heels for the rest of your life.
But it’s just not true! Nearly every case of heel pain—and plantar fasciitis in particular—can be treated to significantly reduce or even outright exterminate the pain. Most of these cases can be effectively treated via conservative methods, too. Surgery is only an option if nothing else will provide enough relief.
So what could possibly be done to take comfort and peace of mind back from plantar fasciitis? A big part of that depends on the root cause or causes of the condition.
Request an Appointment
Understanding Your Plantar Fasciitis
When you have a cold, you take cold medicine. So why no one big cure for a problem such as plantar fasciitis?
That’s because plantar fasciitis is a physical condition instead of an illness. Instead of knowing you need to blast a nasty bug, treating plantar fasciitis requires knowing where in the “machine” of the foot something is going wrong—and this machine has many moving parts!
The plantar fascia itself is just one of those parts; a thick band of tissue that runs from the base of the toes, along the underside of the foot and to the heel bone. It serves multiple jobs, including support of the arch and directing forces and energy as we walk.
When the plantar fascia becomes too strained, however, it may develop tiny tears, causing pain and inflammation. Determining the causes behind this strain is how to determine the right treatments and lifestyle changes to truly attack your heel pain.
That’s why it is so important to come to Associates in Podiatry if you have been suffering from persistent heel pain. The only way to properly address your heel pain at this point is to get a professional evaluation and guidance, and that’s just what we provide!
How Certain Treatments Address Plantar Fasciitis
Getting to the source of your plantar fasciitis opens up many potential possibilities for treatment, depending on what we find. On the other hand, there are some easy methods that will probably feel good for just about anyone.
Here are some of the plantar fasciitis treatments we might recommend as part of an overall plan, and who they might work best for.
Physical therapy does not have to be a highly involved consultation with a physical therapist. It can also be developing a relatively simple plan for stretching, exercise, and other routines that can strengthen the muscles and other tissues in your feet.
These plan elements can be very helpful for patients who have structural imbalances that may be contributing to their heel pain. For example, a tight calf muscle or Achilles tendon may be tugging on the heel bone too forcefully and, in turn, placing excess stress on the plantar fascia. Conditioning these areas can help relieve that pressure.
The use of custom orthotic inserts can provide additional support and cushioning to needed areas, which can mean welcome relief for an injured plantar fascia.
Additionally, custom orthotics can help redistribute weight across the foot more evenly, taking unnatural stress off the plantar fascia with every step. The more often it can work with natural force loads, the better!
Changes in Workout Routines and Equipment
If you are physically active on a regular basis, there is a significant chance that you may be overworking the plantar fascia, or otherwise placing it under too much consistent stress.
While physical therapy and custom orthotics can play roles in this area, you might also need to rework your workout routines. You may not be providing your body enough time to rest and recover from the demands you are placing on it, leading to breakdowns such as plantar fasciitis over time. Additionally, footwear and technique may need to be considered, as the wrong shoes or the wrong way of going about exercise can also lead to painful problems.
When plantar fasciitis has persisted for a long time and is not responsive to more traditional treatments, MLS can be an effective advanced option.
MLS Laser uses a range of light to deliver microtrauma to the plantar fascia over a series of sessions. This might sound counter-intuitive, but this method can essentially “kickstart” the body’s repair processes and increase blood flow to the area, resulting in faster and more significant healing.
Finding the Right Route to Heel Health
We have only covered a few potential plantar fasciitis treatments above. There are more—even including surgery, if needed. However, the most effective path requires a thorough review of your situation and history to illuminate what the best treatment option for you is.
If you have been suffering from heel pain for a while and nothing has really helped, don’t wait any longer. Call Associates in Podiatry to take the first steps toward the relief you deserve! Call our Princeton office at (609) 924-8333 or our Roselle Park office at (908) 687-5757 to schedule an appointment.
And, if you would like to learn more about heel pain causes and treatments, check out our free guide: All About Heel Pain! Your Guide to Heel Pain, its Causes and Remedies.