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Plantar fascia is the thin band of tissue that helps connect your heel bone to your toes. Due to this injury, your fascia becomes weak and inflamed. This irritation which causes you to feel pain in your heel or bottom of your foot during activities or while standing is commonly referred to as Plantar Fasciitis.
This foot injury affects close to 2 million Americans each year. The majority of people suffering from plantar fasciitis are middle-aged or those who are on their feet for the majority of the day. While pain often tends to be most severe in the morning, it also affects individuals that begin physical activity after non-weight bearing periods.
For most individuals, this foot pain could be the result of several issues. Those that have high arches or flat feet are susceptible to this type of injury. Also, this injury could occur for those that are overweight, wear improper footwear or even those that have tight calf muscles.
While this injury may be extremely common in the U.S., there are several ways for individuals to relieve foot pain relief.
5 Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Lose Weight: While this treatment option is always easier said than done, losing weight could significantly impact the pain that occurs in this area. The extra weight your body carries often causes more strain on these ligaments and increases the pain. Taking that extra pressure off this area could greatly impact your health and level of pain.
2. Change Footwear: For those constantly in flip flops or going barefoot, this could be detrimental to the healing process for Plantar Fasciitis. Wearing improper footwear impacts the way your ligaments tend to stretch and move. Choosing a proper tennis shoe or work shoe could be an easy way to improve your foot health.
3. See a Physical Therapist: Physical Therapists see thousands of cases of Plantar Fasciitis per year. Seeking their help will give you the chance to learn stretches to improve your level of pain.
4. Wear a Night Splint: There are many options for night splints at your local medical equipment store. These braces are designed to keep your foot in a neutral position. This apparatus allows the ligaments in your foot to shorten overnight and relieve some of that inflammation.
5. Visit Your Doctor’s Office: Your physician is available to help you discover other treatment options for this injury. Often after the stretching and new footwear fails, your physician may recommend another treatment option. Cortisone injections are available as a direct method of reducing inflammation in this area. Physicians are also starting to introduce a new treatment option called: PRP which stands for platelet rich plasma. PRP is made by taking blood peripherally from the patient and separating the platelets, red cells and stem cells with growth factors that then get separated. These cells have been known to reduce inflammation and are injected into the area of the plantar fascia.
With all of these treatment options, you have several options to try to reduce inflammation and stress on this ligament. If you are experiencing persistent heel or mid-foot pain that won’t go away, seek medical attention from a qualified physician and get the relief you need!