31 Jul 7 Things That Help with Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can make every step feel like you’re walking on thumbtacks. While this condition can cause debilitating pain, there are a few time-honored techniques that might reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Aside from extreme options like surgery, there are plenty of natural treatments, like physical therapy, that can improve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis without the side effects and risks.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick, web-shaped ligament that runs the length of your foot from your heel forward. When this ligament becomes inflamed, severe inflammatory pain occurs whenever you put any weight on your foot. While plantar fasciitis is the most intense in the morning, the lingering pain of your inflamed plantar fascia follows you throughout the day, which can reduce your mobility and overall quality of life.
1. Physical Therapy
Like lots of other inflammatory conditions, physical therapy appears to help with plantar fasciitis. In addition to other physical therapy techniques, your therapist might recommend a wide variety of stretches and other techniques you can use from home to reduce the symptoms of your condition.
Keep in mind that physical therapy exercises only work for plantar fasciitis if you make a routine and stick with it. By gradually mobilizing your body’s inherent healing resources, physical therapy treats the underlying causes of plantar fasciitis, which provides long-term, holistic relief. On the other hand, common plantar fasciitis treatments like surgery and NSAID drugs only provide temporary relief without resolving the underlying causes of this condition.
While the benefits of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis aren’t instant, sticking to a daily physical therapy regimen over time will give you the best possible chance to overcome your condition for good. Pair your exercises at home with regular visits with your physical therapist to gauge your progress and receive specialized treatment.
Orthotics essentially train your muscles and connective tissues to be healthier. Similarly to prostheses, orthotic devices provide your body with external support to overcome debilitating conditions, but orthotics are designed to heal your condition over time.
Shoe inserts are the most common types of orthotics used to treat plantar fasciitis. These simple inserts slip inside your shoes, and they provide your feet with extra support as you move around throughout the day. While your plantar fasciitis pain might flare up in the morning and dissipate throughout the day, it’s important to wear your orthotic shoes all day long to derive the greatest healing benefits.
Physical therapists often prescribe orthotics as part of a comprehensive physical therapy regimen. While you shouldn’t rely solely on orthotics to heal your plantar fasciitis, there’s no reason you shouldn’t incorporate these healing tools into your overall therapeutic efforts.
3. Steroid Injections
Steroid injections can be effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Cortisone causes increased inflammation in the inflamed area, which mobilizes your body’s healing resources to the site of the intravenous shot. However, steroid injections are relatively risky, and their benefits are based on somewhat shaky science. Talk with your doctor and your physical therapist to determine whether steroid injections are called for in your situation.
4. Splints, Casts, and Boots
There are a variety of different types of external devices you can use to improve the symptoms of your plantar fasciitis. For instance, your physical therapist might recommend that you wear a night splint while you sleep; this device controls the positioning of your foot to reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis over time.
In extreme cases, a full leg cast may be necessary to treat plantar fasciitis. More commonly, however, physicians and physical therapists prescribe removable boots that you can wear throughout the day. Like casts, boots immobilize your leg to facilitate the healing process, but they only minimally impede your daily activities.
Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce inflammation in your plantar fascia without the use of dangerous steroids. However, these drugs have cardiovascular side effects that increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. There are significant benefits and detractors to using NSAIDs to treat plantar fasciitis, and you should confer with your doctor before trying these potentially dangerous drugs.
6. Weight Loss
In many cases, carrying around some extra weight can significantly contribute to the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. No matter what conditions you might suffer from, losing weight always improves your overall health, and dropping a few pounds might be just the thing for reducing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Keeping up with your daily physical therapy exercises might help you lose weight without having to resort to any extreme measures.
In extremely severe cases of plantar fasciitis, surgery might be the only thing that can help with this inflammatory condition. However, surgery for plantar fasciitis is increasingly rare as physicians and surgeons are forced to recognize that safer, less-invasive treatments are more effective. Always carefully consider your options before electing to try surgery for your plantar fasciitis, and make sure you try physical therapy first.
Get Help the Healthy Way with Physical Therapy
There are lots of different ways to treat plantar fasciitis, so there’s no need for you to suffer from the symptoms of this condition silently. You have to pay dearly for the benefits offered by most plantar fasciitis treatments, however, which turns getting the help you need into a merciless cost-benefit analysis.
With physical therapy, however, the costs are negligible, and the benefits are immense. Unlike invasive treatments, physical therapy is practically zero-risk; the only thing you have to watch out for is pushing yourself too hard. With the help of an expert physical therapist, you can develop a personalized therapy regimen that has the potential to offer incredible healing results over time. To get started on the road toward natural plantar fasciitis recovery, make an appointment with a physical therapist today.