When you experience a sharp pain that radiates from the bottom of your foot to your heel, you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis. As the name suggests, this is a condition where your plantar fascia becomes inflamed. Because of the role this thick band of tissue plays in supporting you in walking, it can feel especially painful when you place pressure on your feet. There are lots of treatment options available, many of which you can organise alone. By learning more about them, you can decide when to see a podiatrist for further interventions.
Rest and Stretching
Your first port of call should involve resting the affected foot. Keeping weight off your foot limits additional strain to the plantar fascia. When you elevate it, you can drain excess fluid away from the area and limit inflammation. While you're resting your foot, you may want to try temperature therapies such as heat packs and cold compresses. After trying rest as a therapy for a couple of days, start to introduce stretches that lower tension and promote healing, such as calf stretches or grabbing your big toe and pulling it towards you.
Over the Counter Analgesics
Over-the-counter analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can make it easier for you to sleep and engage in everyday activities. They can also reduce pain ahead of you performing stretches, which makes it easier to engage with them. Avoid taking ibuprofen and similar medications for the first 48 hours, though. During the first 48 hours, they may disrupt the initial phases of healing and can be counterproductive.
Your everyday shoes may not provide the cushioning your feet require to feel supported. They can also inflict additional strain on your plantar fascia, which may make the injury worse or can slow the healing process. To address this, speak to your podiatrist about using insoles. They can make recommendations about particular brands or they may prescribe bespoke options.
When your plantar fasciitis keeps returning or it's especially painful, you may want to try shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy involves using a handheld machine to send high-energy soundwaves to your plantar fascia. It promotes better blood flow to the area, which then makes healing move faster. In some cases, it also stimulates the nerves that are responsible for pain and can make the pain feel less severe. The number of treatments will depend on how bad the condition is and how well you're responding to the initial phases of treatment.Share