Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is a condition experienced by many people, especially if they are active runners and walkers, spend long hours on their feet, or have especially high or low arches (flat feet). Although women are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis more frequently, both genders can be susceptible to the symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and are seeking treatment, Dr. Brian Straus, our experienced orthopaedic surgeon, recommends utilizing the following non-invasive options before considering surgical intervention.
Stretching can often provide a great deal of relief and is widely considered to be the best treatment for plantar fasciitis. The Achilles tendon stretch, performed by leaning against the wall with one foot in front of the other, helps alleviate discomfort by lengthening the cords that connect the leg to the heel. Another helpful stretch requires you to stand with a wide stance, one foot slightly in front of the other, while leaning on a countertop. You should then bend your knees while keeping your heels flat for about 10 seconds, stand up, and repeat 20 times.
You can also stretch the plantar fascia band directly. While sitting or standing, cross your affected leg over the good leg and pull the toes toward the shinbone until you feel tension. You cannot stretch too often, and the best time to perform these movements is in the morning before walking and after sitting for long periods.
In addition to stretches, Dr. Straus recommends you take anti-inflammatory medicine, such as Advil®, Motrin®, ibuprofen, or Aleve®. In some cases, you may benefit from adding a steroid like Medrol. Dr. Straus will provide instructions for use during your initial consultation. Icing the area after activity may also help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Other supportive treatments include gel heel cups, arch support inserts, taping, and a night splint. If these therapies fail to ease your pain, physical therapy, a cast, or steroid injections may be able to help. For more examples of treatment, please read our helpful brochure.
For more information about plantar fasciitis treatment, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Straus, please contact our office today.