Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain that the podiatric team here at Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle sees in adults. Heel pain can happen to anyone; however, everything from being overweight to being on your feet all day can leave you prone to plantar fasciitis-related heel pain. If you are dealing with heel pain, there are many treatment options that can help you get your pain under control
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
While this condition is self-limiting; unfortunately, it can still take several weeks or even months for heel pain to go away. Rest is key when it comes to giving the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs the length of your feet, time to properly heal. This means that those who are active will need to take time from exercises and physical activities that could make problems worse.
Along with rest you may also benefit from,
Stretching and strengthening exercises: Our podiatrists can give you a list of special foot and ankle exercises that you can perform every day to alleviate tightness and weakness in certain foot muscles, as well as improve flexibility of the calf muscles, which could be contributing to your plantar fasciitis. Wall, stair and towel stretching are often recommended.
Supportive footwear: It’s important that you wear shoes that provide ample support for the arches of your feet. When you do need to be on your feet, it’s important that you don’t go barefoot. Shoes with thick-cushioned midsoles are ideal for reducing plantar fasciitis pain that’s often exacerbated by walking or standing.
Custom orthotics: Our podiatrists can also provide prescription orthotics and arch inserts that can help to absorb some of the shock that occurs when walking, particularly on hard surfaces like pavement. Orthotics or taping can be an effective way to manage pain without requiring pain relievers. Taping may be recommended if you are dealing with an acute form of plantar fasciitis while those with recurring or chronic plantar fasciitis may benefit from custom orthotics.
Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis
While surgery for plantar fasciitis is rare, it does happen. It’s usually recommended as a last resort when all other non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted and the patient is still in considerable pain. If you find that conservative treatment isn’t helping you manage your heel pain, then you may wish to talk with our podiatrists about the pros and cons of plantar fascia release surgery.