The plantar fascia is a long strip of tough ligament that runs along the bottom surface of your foot. It supports the arch of your foot when you walk or stand. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. It usually affects the bottom of your foot, especially when you first stand up after sitting or sleeping. It can also hurt when you climb stairs or stand for a long time in a store or office.
You can usually treat your plantar fasciitis at home. Resting your foot, icing it several times a day, and using a heel cup or felt pad in your shoe may help. Stretching exercises that target the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon are often helpful. You can do these at home with simple props like a chair and foam roller or a frozen water bottle. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can ease pain and swelling.
If the pain persists, your doctor may recommend a rigid orthotic support or customized shoe inserts (orthotics), which are designed to fit into your shoes and provide more support for your feet. They can be used alone or in combination with other treatment options. Your doctor might also suggest extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which delivers a series of high-energy shock waves to your foot and ankle to stimulate healing in the plantar fascia.
These treatments can take a few weeks to months, but they should improve your pain. However, you may need to continue with them for up to two years before you feel completely better. This is because it takes a while for the plantar fascia to heal after a period of overuse.
Most people with plantar fasciitis get better without surgery, but some people do need surgery. This is usually done after trying less invasive treatment methods for up to a year.
Plantar fasciitis is a common problem, but it’s important to treat it right to prevent it from getting worse and stopping you from walking or standing for long periods of time. You can often prevent plantar fasciitis from reoccurring by wearing supportive shoes, exercising regularly, and doing stretching exercises for your foot and leg muscles.
If you have severe or persistent plantar fasciitis, see a podiatrists. A podiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating problems of the foot and ankle. They have more training and expertise in the foot and ankle than orthopedic surgeons, and they can perform surgical procedures and plantar fasciitis Barangaroo if necessary. They can also prescribe more conservative treatments, such as rigid orthotic support, ice, stretches, and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, they may even recommend shockwave therapy or steroid injections. However, these are only recommended when conservative treatments don’t work. They are not a substitute for treating the underlying causes of the problem, such as overweight or poor-fitting shoes or structural foot issues. They can also help you with a home treatment plan that’s best for you.