At an early stage, when the heel pain has just been realized, treatment can simply be done at home with proper care. Generally, plantar fasciitis treatments at home aim to:
- Reduce the stabbing pain and stiffness in the heel.
- Enhance the healing process of small lacerations in the plantar fascia ligament.
- Increase strength and flexibility of the feet ligaments and tendons as well as improve foot conditions such as pronation or supination, so that you don’t over stress the plantar fascia ligament.
Researches indicate that 95% of patients are able to recover from plantar fasciitis with no surgical treatments needed. Only 5% of patients have to go through surgery. By following the treatments properly, the majority of people recover entirely in less than one year. Thus, the key point here is that you should start plantar fasciitis treatment early and carefully, when the problem has just been developed, and then your pain will likely be reduced and healed faster.
The described treatments below will help to relieve the pain and speed up the recovery. You may follow a combination of the given methods to have a better result.
Rest your feet
This is one of the most important step in plantar fasciitis treatment. In fact, many patients, especially those in the early stage of plantar fasciitis can get rid of the heel pain by simply resting the feet well, after several weeks. You should avoid daily activities that are causing the pain, such as walking and especially running on hard surfaces. Nevertheless, you should frequently stretch the feet and calves following the given exercises below for better outcome. Correct stretches will not put excessive stress on plantar fascia, but rather warm it up, make it more flexible and less stiffness.
Pain and inflammation may be eased by applying an ice pack to your sore heel for around 10 minutes. You may want to wrap the ice pack in a towel, instead of putting it directly on your skin, otherwise the area may be frozen. Alternatively, you can also utilise a bag of frozen fruits or vegetables. In contrast, applying hot compresses on the sore area is not recommended, because your pain may be a result of sprain and in this case heat will make the symptoms worse.
Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (for example Aleve), aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can also be used if your heel is too painful. NSAIDs can be found in two forms, pills for eating and cream for rubbing over the affected area.
Use of proper footwear
Choosing the correct shoes that fit your feet well is also important. Shoes with good shock absorption will help to prevent your feet from excessive stress when you are walking or standing on hard surfaces. Shoes with good arch support will be useful not only for people with flat feet or high arches, but also for others, as wearing the shoes help keeping the arches in the correct form.
Use of orthoses
Orthoses are shoe inserts (such as insole and arch support) to support your arches properly. You should put the orthoses inside both shoes, even if only only one heel is sore.There are orthoses off-the-shelf available in sport equipment shops and large pharmacies. There are also available custom-made orthoses, which may be useful for some people with abnormal foot shape or structure. These orthoses will be created following closely to the foot shape with correct curve to support the arches.
Use night splint and tape
Another method that may help to improve your pain is to do plantar fasciitis taping, which are techniques to strap your feet or ankle, in order to relieve pressure put on your heel. You can use those sport strapping (zinc oxide) tape for this method.
In some cases, a night splint can be used while you are asleep to hold the affected foot and its toes pointing up as well as to keep the angle between the foot and ankle at 90-degree.This position puts a constant and gentle stretch to both the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia which should be good for speeding up the recovery time. You only need to wear one night splint on your sore foot.
Do plantar fasciitis stretches
There are several simple stretches, which may help your feet ligaments and tendons become more flexible and also strengthen the muscles supporting your arches, for example, plantar fascia stretches, calf stretches, and towel stretches. You should try to do these stretches several times a day, especially in the morning to reduce the ligaments and tendons stiffness, which developed after a long night of sleep.
Remember to be patient and consistent, as the heel pain may take time to be completely healed — from some months to around one year. However, after about 6 weeks from the start of the treatment, you should begin to feel less painful, otherwise you should consult a doctor for other treatments.
If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to assist you.