Doctors generally recommend a conservative approach to treating plantar fasciitis. This means taking over-the-counter pain and inflammation relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. You can also apply ice to the inflamed area and rest the foot to alleviate the pain. There are also stretches that you can do at home. One common and very effective exercise is to roll a cold can of frozen juice under your foot. The rolling motion stretches and strengthens the plantar fascia, while the coldness of the can alleviates the pain.
If you need more help than just exercising at home, or if your pain is making it difficult to function, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy. A therapist will teach you how to do the exercises and probably push you more than you would do on your own. They can also teach you how to do athletic taping. Another treatment option is wearing special supports or placing custom orthotics in your shoes.
If conservative approaches are not working, your doctor may recommend injections of either a steroid or a platelet-rich plasma. With an ultrasound guiding the injections, these can provide relief from the pain without risking a rupture of the tissue.
Extracorporal sound wave therapy, where sound waves are directed at the plantar fascia, may also be used. This procedure stimulates blood flow in the injured area. Increased blood flow can help tissues to heal. It can also stun the nerves to decrease the pain. A minimally invasive procedure called the Tenex procedure can eliminate some of the scarring associated with plantar fasciitis.
Some incidences of plantar fasciitis may go away on their own without intervention. If the inflammation does not subside, it can cause more debilitating pain. You will naturally walk differently in an attempt to alleviate the pain, which can lead to knee, back, and hip problems in the future.
If you’ve been noticing stabbing fain in your foot, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Caught in time, pain from plantar fasciitis can be greatly improved.