There is a variety of treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis. Most people with foot pain in the early stages of this condition can recover with conservative treatments. This includes over the counter pain relievers, physical therapy, and arch supports. People suffering from advanced stages of plantar fasciitis, however, would need procedures such as injections, shockwave therapy, and surgery.
Conservative Treatment options:
- Anti-inflammatory Medication
- These over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen help ease the pain and reduction of the inflammation.
- Physical Therapy
- If rest and medication do not help enough, a physical therapist would recommend a series of stretches and exercises to strengthen the plantar fascia, as well as lower leg muscles. This will help stabilize the bottoms of the feet to reduce the pain.
- Night splints
- Night splints keep the ankle in a neutral position while sleeping. Because most people sleep with the feet flexed or pointed down, the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon is shortened. Night splints allow healing to take place while the plantar fascia is in a passive position. This creates less tension on the bottoms of the feet, making it less painful in the morning.
Surgical and Other Procedures:
- Cortisone Injections
- If conservative treatment options do not resolve the pain, one might opt for injection of cortisone. This is only temporary relief – multiple injections are not recommended. It can decrease the pain and inflammation, however, they potentially cause problems in the heel area.
- Shockwave Therapy
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) directs shock waves to the heel to stimulate healing. It is a noninvasive treatment that stimulates blood flow at the bottom of the feet and stuns the nerves to stop the pain.
- Surgery is usually the last resort if all else fails, and the pain is unbearable. This operation removes the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Risks include nerve damage and permanent change in the shape of the feet.