This is a common heel pain that is widespread in middle-aged adults, which one can wish away. The pain manifests itself when taking the first steps in the morning. The plantar fascia ligaments are the shock absorbers of your feet and when they are inflamed or damaged they can cause pain in one or both heels. Several treatment options are effective when tailored to the patient's preferences and risk factors. Problems resulting in plantar fasciitis include hard walking/running surfaces, an increase of weight-bearing activity, worn shoes and increased intensity of activity. Early detection of the problem means a shorter course treatment with a high probability of success with conservative treatments.
Some treatment of plantar fasciitis includes
- Using lavender essential oil
According to a study in 2015, the lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties used in treating pain caused by inflammation. Dilute a drop of the essential oil in a oil carrier such as coconut or olive oil and massage at the bottom of your feet. Adding a few drops of the oil in a warm foot bath is also recommended.
- Plenty of rest
This has been discovered to be an effective treatment that works best. For active adults who require walking and standing long, they might have a challenge complying with this requirement. You must have an outlined rest plan and find alternative activities to avoid aggravating the pain. If possible, avoid working on hard surfaces.
- Wear supportive shoes
Wear shoes with a low heel that provides good arch support, especially if you are on your feet most of the time. The appropriate shoes help support the plantar fascia and prevent inflammation. If you are in sports it is important to wear the right shoe to avoid experiencing foot pain from running.
- Use orthotics
Most medical practitioners recommend footpads or orthotic shoe inserts, especially if you have high arches, to distribute weight evenly. You can get ready-made orthotics available in pharmacies or request custom made orthotic inserts from your podiatrist.
Stretching corrects various dysfunctional factors such as tightness of the foot muscles and improves the flexibility of the calf muscles. There are stretching techniques that help relieve plantar fasciitis. Calf stretches, toe stretches, and towel stretches are some stretches that should be done in the morning and several times a day. For towel stretches, roll the towel and pull both ends when placed under the ball of your foot.
- Wear night splint
Night splints relieve pain by stretching the calves and arches overnight. If you have had plantar fasciitis for more than six months, these are recommended for you. They are available in soft and hard models and can be used from one to three months.
Simple massage techniques soothe pain in the heel. Use thumbs to massage the heels and arches starting from the balls of the feet towards the heel. A golf ball can be used to massage the arches. Put the foot on the golf ball and roll the golf ball under your arch. Hang on a stable support item while doing this.
- Use an ice pack
Ice reduces inflammation and acts as a good massage aid. With a thin towel and cloth cover your ice pack and hold over the painful area for 15 to 20minutes; repeat this for at least three-four times a day. You can also roll the foot under the ice pack like the golf ball example.
- Lose weight
Extra weight adds pressure on the plantar fascia and losing a few pounds relives off the pressure. Work with a doctor who can put in place a plan that focuses on regular exercise and a balanced diet.
- Use NSAIDs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce inflammation such include ibuprofen; they relieve pain caused by the inflamed plantar fascia. Only use the recommended dosage and consult a doctor to understand the interactions with other medications.
- Apply TENS therapy
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), uses low voltage electrical stimulation to relieve pain. This treatment is non-invasive and can be done at home using a TENS unit or it can be done by a professional.
If the pain does not respond to home treatments seek medical assistance from foot specialists at DeNiel Foot & Ankle Center. Additional testing and X-rays can be done to rule out other causes of foot pain such as a heel spur. A doctor can use steroid injections and physical therapy when dealing with plantar fasciitis.