Tips for Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects countless Americans. Its causes aren’t fully known, but it can significantly impact quality of life for sufferers. Whether you’re an active runner experiencing heel pain or you stand or walk for extended periods of time for your job, we’ve got some strategies you can use for plantar fasciitis relief.

Habits, Lifestyle Changes and Products

There are a number of personal habits and lifestyle choices you can alter in order to help reduce your plantar fasciitis suffering. Any of these suggestions that you’re able to accomplish without expending too much effort will go a long way to helping with your plantar fasciitis treatment.

- When you have plantar fasciitis or just about any foot condition, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight for your height. Excess weight increases the impact on your feet and legs and, in the case of PF, stresses the plantar fascia even more.

- Incorporating some simple stretches into your daily routine can provide plantar fasciitis relief as well. Calf stretches such as leaning against a wall with your hands and one foot while stretching the other leg out behind can help loosen tight muscles. Also try pulling your toes gently upward while sitting until you feel a stretch in your foot.

- Examine the types of footwear you wear regularly. Ideally you should be wearing an extremely supportive shoe with a stable heel cradle. You can also get excellent support and cushioning with plantar fasciitis insoles that are movable from shoe to shoe. At the very least limit your time spent wearing flip-flops, high heels or going barefoot.

- Ice can help ease the pain of PF as well. Freeze a water bottle and roll your feet over it for a few minutes at a time several times a day.

- Sleeping in a night splint or night sock is another way to keep the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in the proper position throughout the night to reduce pain. The splint is a more rigid product, while the night sock provides similar stretch but may be more tolerable for sensitive sleepers.

Medical Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

In addition to making changes to your lifestyle, you may also seek medical or drug treatment for your heel pain. Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, can provide plantar fasciitis relief for many people. If not effective for you, see your doctor and discuss options such as:

- Steroid shots, which provide temporary relief but are not recommended for long-term use

- Physical therapy, in which a trained therapist can assist you in practicing the best exercises for your condition

- Custom-created orthotics, which are manufactured based on your individual foot structure and produced by your podiatrist’s office

As much as plantar fasciitis can affect your life, don’t let it get you down. Make a pain management plan with your doctor and continue to try different options until you find the right combination for your individual needs. For more information about foot health, visit our Resource Center.