Plantar Fasciitis Treatment 101
First we must ask ourselves what is Plantar Fasciitis. Now if you didn't check out the causes etc of this condition, you can find it out here: Plantar Fasciitis 101.
The actual term Fasciitis is actually an "inflammation of the fascia".
So now we already have a nice idea on how to treat it...the name gives it away! Also because we know how it was caused, we can figure out various treatment regimes.
First of all, I would check out with a Physio or Podiatrist so that they can give you some personal advice regarding your own feet. But one of the tests that they do is the following:
What The Clinician Should Do.
What happens when the clinician pulls the toes up is that they are putting the fascia in a tight position, trying to re-create your pain.
Then they should gently go up and down the route of the fascia trying to determine the exact area of pain.
Pain along the route of the fascia is obviously a Plantar Fasciitis problem, but when it appears that the pain is around the heel or Achilles insertion, then more than likely it is to do with the Gastroc muscle.
They should always do an assessment with you walking up and down the clinic- to assess the position of your feet through various stages of the walking cycle.
Clinicians should also measure or at least test the muscle groups that affect the fascia- the main on being the Gastrocnemius muscle.
Those are the main diagnosis testing that should occur. Plantar Fasciitis is one of those conditions that is easily identifiable and should really stick out to anyone assessing you.
The Various Treatment Methods...
There are a number of treatment methods for Plantar Fasciitis that you can do at home and what the clinician can do for you.
A word of advice though.
1- If you are still being active and playing sports on your feet in pain then you are going to damage the fascia even further.
2- If left for too long the pain can become chronic, which is harder and takes longer to reduce and to diminish.
3- Sometimes it is not a real quick heal. Because you are on your feet a lot anyway the fascia gets used. Persevere with professional advice...and do what they ask you do do.
Rest, Ice And Elevate. Rest it, give it time to settle down. Put a bag of peas into a cloth and then put that onto your fascia for no more than 8 mins. Elevate your foot so you are resting it and also draining away the area quicker.
Ice Bottle. Similar to the above advice, roll a frozen plastic bottle of water. Some people use a golf ball, but that can be painful:
Gastroc Stretches. Now these should be given to you by your health professional. But one of the major factors in plantar fasciitis is because of your gastroc being too tight.
Now most people will balk at the idea of doing stretches but it is amazing of what you can accomplish and the amount of pain that can be reduced. Here is the best gastroc stretching methods:
Going on the above diagram, the left leg is straight, and the right one is bent.
Bend the right leg until you can feel tightness, no pain, in the other leg. Hold it for 10 seconds...don't bounce. Release. Do it again 10 more times. Then swap legs and start again.
This should be done twice a day everyday until bending the leg gives no tightness to the other leg. This is a time to increase pressure, but a professional clinician should show you how. I can not because my interpretation could be very different to yours and that will not help anyone.
Shoewear. Now it doesn't matter about cost- cheap and expensive shoes are roughly similar. What you are looking for is the style. Lace or velcro, heel support and a good fit, with a bend within the shoe underneath.
If you are doing walking all the time or work demands it, then try to obtain a pair of running shoes. It is amazing how well they work because they are designed to be that way.
If you are in heels, reduce the heels and do gastroc stretching. Going straight to flats is not a good idea.
Weight. Kinda easy one this to say but harder to do. If you can, reduce your weight with supervision from your Doctor. Apart from helping with your plantar fasciitis it will also help with your knees and internal health.
If you have flat feet, or if you "walk funny" then it might be an idea to see a Podiatrist who might be able to sort out some orthotics for you. However if that seems like too much money then over-the-counter orthotics can equally be OK. but pay attention to wearing information.
Some Other Treatment Methods
Unfortunately there can be some other methods which tend to work and which might.
Steroid Injection. Painful but it can reduce the inflammation around the area of the insertion of the fascia into the heel bone. Because it can cause problems in a non-experienced handler it must be treated with caution. Other treatment options needs to be exhausted first- or be too painful for those to be useful.
Taping Of The Foot. I don't like something to be taped to my skin. How long is it supposed to be there for? It should only be a very short term measure with other treatment methods being actively sought.
Easy Stretches. I don't understand why we have these devices but they put your foot into an upward position. Unless it is a medical problem, what is the point?