Kicking Plantar Fasciitis Pain To The Curb: Three Effective Treatments
There is no doubt that plantar fasciitis is, quite literally, a pain. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, the most important thing to do is to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist may use a multi-pronged approach to make sure that you have the fullest recovery possible. Read on to learn how plantar fasciitis is treated today.
Medication is often the first type of plantar fasciitis treatment that patients try. While medication for plantar fasciitis isn't designed to be a long-term solution, it is a good way to help you feel more comfortable until the best long-term solution is found.
The most commonly used medications for plantar fasciitis are oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs.) These can be found over the counter, but may be prescribed in larger doses. The most commonly used NSAIDs include:
These medications work by decreasing inflammation, which in turn lowers pain levels. In cases where oral medication isn't helpful, your podiatrist may recommend a series of corticosteroid injections. The injections are placed directly into the part of your foot where you feel the most pronounced pain. Corticosteroid injections can relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis for anywhere from days to months. Some patients get pain relief for as long as three to six months.
Physical therapy can be a major component of plantar fasciitis treatment. The primary goal of physical therapy is the lengthening of the plantar fascia ligament and the strengthening of the muscles that support the ankle and heel. A physical therapist will teach you a variety of exercises to help achieve these goals, and you may be encouraged to continue these exercises daily at home.
Your physical therapist may also teach you some pain management techniques, for example special taping techniques. By taping your ankle and heel in a specific way, you may be able to decrease pain levels and increase support. This can be especially helpful during the lengthening and strengthening exercises.
There are a couple of different devices that may be used in your plantar fasciitis therapy. The two most common include:
- Overnight Splints: These splints are usually made of a soft but firm material that can keep your ankle in a neutral position while you sleep. An overnight splint slowly stretches the lower leg muscles and the plantar fascia ligament, typically without any pain.
- Orthotic Devices: There are a variety of orthotic devices that might help people with plantar fasciitis. Orthotics like heel cups and rigid arch supports can help reduce pressure on your heels and ankles, making you more comfortable.
Although plantar fasciitis can certainly be frustrating and difficult to deal with, you do have options. Your podiatrist, like those at ETL Podiatry, can help you kick that plantar fasciitis pain to the curb!