Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

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About Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis treatment options have advanced through the years for this painful and common foot condition. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue that runs along the foot’s arch. It is common among middle aged adults but can occur in all age groups. It is characterized by pain in the heel area of the foot. Pain is usually experienced in the morning, especially upon standing up after waking. The pain may subside but can return after prolonged walking or standing. This condition is often caused by trauma to the foot, or may be related to arthritis. Runners, obese individuals and those who frequently wear ill-fitting footwears are at increased risk. Diagnosis is usually done through X-ray or MRI.

Management of Plantar Fasciitis

Rest

The treatment of plantar fasciitis may either be short term or long-term. Short term treatment methods focus on controlling the inflammation and giving enough rest to the affected foot. People suffering from plantar fasciitis are usually advised to avoid physical activities such as jogging or walking and prolonged standing. Resting allows the body to eliminate the severe pain associated with plantar fasciitis, and enabling the inflammation to start cooling down.

Ice Packs, Splints

The application of ice packs will help diminish the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis and controlling the pain experienced in the heel. Icing the heel is especially recommended if there is too much pain being experienced. The use of night splints when sleeping is also advised. Night splints are worn to let the foot remain stretched out duting sleep. In doing this, the foot’s arch will not become contracted throughout the night and will be less painful in the morning.

Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly and doing stretches are recommended for people with plantar fasciitis as these activities relax the tissues around the heel bone. Exercises, done both in the morning and evening can quickly make patients feel better.

Medications

Doctors also may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to control pain while decreasing the inflammation on that part of the foot. There are also anti-inflammatory drugs that may be sufficient enough to address the pain brought by plantar fasciitis. The use of shoe inserts, on the other hand, is considered a long-term treatment option that allows patients to proceed with their activities without having to bear the pain.

Cortisone Injection

For those who have persistent symptoms, cortisone may be injected to decrease the swelling brought about by plantar fasciitis. Most doctors however are cautious about injecting the chemical since it can have potential health risks. Two problems, namely, plantar fascial rupture and fat pad atrophy, have been associated with the injection of cortisone. While the said conditions have low rate of occurrence among plantar fasciitis patients, the risk is still high that doctors are wary of suggesting cortisone injection.

ESWT

A new plantar fasciitis treatment method is being developed, called extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) which taps energy pulses to induce the body’s tissue repair of the plantar fascia. The said method is recommended for patients who have exhausted the previously discussed treatment options for plantar fasciitis.

References

Mayo Clinic: Plantar Fasciitis

emedicinehealth: Plantar Fasciitis