How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Treatment of plantar fasciitis includes:
- Stretching exercises for the calf muscles
- Supportive, sturdy, well-cushioned shoe gear to protect the injured heel
- Appropriate shoe inserts, arch supports, or custom foot orthotics to provide additional protection
- Use of a night splint to prevent tightening of the tissue during rest
- Avoidance of walking barefoot
- Avoidance of sandals and flip-flops
- Massage therapy to the heel and arch
- Ice application to the site of pain
- Limitations on physical activity, such as avoiding high impact exercises or prolonged standing
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
- Cortisone (steroid) injections
- Weight loss program
Occasionally, if none of the above solutions are effective, casting or surgery may be considered. In general, any surgery should be avoided until conservative treatments have been attempted. Heel pain can usually be treated conservatively, without surgery.
Remember that once pain has been alleviated, you may still need to continue to wear appropriate supportive shoes and do stretching exercises to prevent recurrence.