Seven Home Methods to Treat or Relieve Plantar Fasciitis
By Brian Acton
Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which your plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes and supports your arches, becomes inflamed. The resulting pain in your heel or the bottom of your foot can make it difficult to stand or walk.
While it’s common among middle aged and older people, plantar fasciitis can also occur in young athletes and anyone who is frequently on their feet. While unusual cases of plantar fasciitis may require surgery, doctors will usually recommend at-home remedies to start, as most people will recover in three to twelve months without aggressive treatment.
Here are seven home methods your doctor may recommend to treat or relieve your plantar fasciitis.
While it might be unrealistic to completely eliminate walking from your routine, resting your foot is necessary. You should limit any activities, such as running or walking on solid surfaces like concrete, that can exacerbate your plantar fasciitis.
If your sport of choice involves a lot of running or high impact activity, try substituting a low impact sport like bicycling or swimming.
- Cold Therapy
Cold therapy helps treat injuries like plantar fasciitis that involve pain, swelling, or inflammation. Applying ice or cold packs
to your foot can temporarily reduce those symptoms.
- Over-the-Counter Medication
Over the counter anti-inflammatory aids like ibuprofen or naproxen can help you manage your pain and reduce inflammation.
- Supportive Footwear
Avoid flats, high heels, sandals, and any footwear that doesn’t provide adequate support. Instead, wear shoes with a well-cushioned sole that absorbs shock and provides arch support. Many running shoes will provide plenty of cushioning to the bottom of your feet.
Alternatively, shoe inserts like heel lifts
can add support and cushioning to your unsupportive footwear.
- Foot Stretches
Toe stretches and calf stretches can help your foot stay limber, and are especially beneficial early in the morning. Stretches help your ligaments become flexible and strengthen the muscles that support your arch.
- Night Splints
can provide relief from plantar fasciitis pain overnight. These splints hold the foot with the toes pointed up, applying a consistent 90° angle stretch to your plantar fascia. This helps reduce pain and keeps your foot limber.
- Wear Supports
Supports like the Swede-O® Thermal Heel-Rite™
can fit in your shoe and provide daytime relief for your foot. They provide ample arch support and compress the plantar fascia to protect your foot from further pain and injury. The support’s compression and heat retention can also help reduce swelling and aid recovery.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis are easily treatable with simple remedies or over-the-counter products, and only in rare instances will they last over one year. However, some cases are more extreme. If you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis, see your doctor. Your doctor can recommend the best combination of treatments and remedies to get you back on your feet.