Plantar fasciitis occurs when you have a tissue on the bottom of your feet that connects with your heel bone and with your toes that becomes inflamed. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause intense pain that is usually focused on your heel. This muscle strain or tear can make it painful to walk around.
When it comes to taking care of yourself when you have plantar fasciitis, it is best to try therapies and medication in order to treat the pain before you move onto surgical options.
Therapy #1: Physical Therapy
One way to treat your plantar fasciitis is with physical therapy. During physical therapy, the therapist will teach you how stretch out your plantar fascia as well as y our Achilles tendon. Knowing how to properly stretch out these muscles, and increasing the flexibility and mobility of them, can help prevent your tissue from becoming inflamed.
Next, your physical therapist may work with you to help you increase the strength of your lower leg muscles. Increasing the strength of your lower leg muscles can help provide more stability to your ankle and heel, and thus prevent your foot from becoming inflamed.
Additionally, your physical therapist will teach you how to properly wrap up your foot with athletic tape to help provide your foot with the support it needs to keep the tissue from becoming inflamed and triggering your plantar fasciitis.
Therapy #2: Night Splints
Another therapy that your podiatrist may suggest is night splints. With night splints, you put a splint on at night and wear it when you are asleep. The splint is designed to stretch out your calf muscle as well as the arch of your foot. The purpose of the night splint is to stretch out your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon via stretching your calf muscles and the arch of your foot. Stretching out these muscles every day should lengthen them and make them more flexible overall, which should reduce the occurrence of a flair-up.
Therapy #3: Orthotics
Finally, your podiatrist may suggest that you wear orthotics. Depending on the state of your plantar fasciitis and the shape of your foot, they may suggest that you just purchase some orthotics off-the-shelf, or they may have custom orthotics crafted for you. The point of the orthotics is to put them in your shoes, so that the pressure in your feet is distributed differently, with the goal of taking some of the pressure off the muscles that are causing you pain in your feet.
When it comes to treating plantar fasciitis, often a multi-tier approach is your best option. You may need to undergo physical therapy, wear night splints, and wear orthotics. All of these treatments, along with taking some mild pain and inflammation medication, can help you treat your plantar fasciitis.