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4 Treatment Options For Plantar Fasciitis

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Are you experiencing chronic pain in your heel? Do you feel pain every time you take a step or put pressure on your foot? You could be suffering from a common condition known as plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis affects a long piece of tissue in your foot known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs from your heel all the to your toes and provides support for the bottom of your foot. Over time, your plantar fascia can become strained or can even tear, which usually results in pain in your heel. That can make it difficult to walk or complete basic daily activities. The good news is there are remedies for plantar fasciitis, some of which you can do at home. Below are four steps to take to relieve your heel pain.

The RICE method. The RICE method is a common strategy for treating tendon, ligament, and muscle strains. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The rest part is self-explanatory. Stay off your feet as much as possible to take the strain off your foot. Ice your heel a few times a day to reduce swelling. A brace can provide compression for your ankle, which can help to stabilize the plantar fascia. And elevating your foot, especially in the evenings, can further reduce swelling and pain. Follow the RICE method regularly until the pain is resolved.

Wear shoe inserts. Plantar fasciitis is often caused by a lack of heel support and arch support. This can happen naturally with age. As you get older and your foot experiences more activity, the arch in your foot loses strength and collapses, leading to tears and strain in the plantar fascia. You can reduce pain by wearing shoe inserts that provide better arch support. That takes strain and pressure off the plantar fascia and allows it to heal.

Wear a night splint. A night splint is a compression device that gently stretches your foot while you sleep. This is best used to relieve tightness in your foot and ankle. The night splint gently stretches out your calf muscle, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia so when you wake up you're free of pain and ready for daily activity. You can find night splints online and at most pharmacies.

Get physical therapy. If none of these steps help, you may need more advanced treatment from a physical therapist. They can put you through regular stretches and exercises to rebuild strength in your heel and your plantar fascia. Physical therapy usually consists of regular appointments in the office plus exercises to do at home. Some physical therapists require a referral from a doctor but others will let you schedule directly with them.

If your pain is severe and is not helped by any of these treatments, you may need to consult with an orthopedist. They could use treatments like plasma injections or even surgery to repair your plantar fascia.