October 2023

Blog 23 – What is The Best Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis?

Useful Plantar Fasciitis Treatment You Can Try For Yourself To Relieve Heel Pain

Not all cases of plantar fascia pain are what they seem to be.  You might feel fine when you wake up, but as soon as you stand up, a sharp pain will remind you that it’s still there.

When you move around, the pain from plantar fascia usually goes away.  Still, you don’t know if the pain will return after your morning run or after you stand for a long time.

It’s hard to deal with plantar fasciitis.  It can be treated in a number of ways, and several of them can be done at home.  Read on to find out the cause of plantar fasciitis, how to make the pain go away and when you should see a Podiatrist.

Let's Start Simple: Will plantar fasciitis just disappear by itself or do I need treatment?

While you usually won’t need surgery for plantar fasciitis – it typically will not go away without some kind of home or professional care plan applied consistently over a period of time.  Most people see improvement in three to 12 months with their plantar fascia pain and tissue inflammation. Sticking to an effective plantar fascia care routine to help your foot heal is the trick to get rid of your plantar fasciitis once and for all.

Easy Home Care Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis:

Relax And Rest Up

To help your plantar fasciitis heal and reduce inflammation, give your foot or feet a break from standing and doing activities.  The heel pain comes from too much stress on the ligament under your foot (the plantar fascia).  

Does this mean just lounging around for months?  Nope!  It’s okay to move.  But try to skip things that make your foot ache or add plantar fascia stress over extended periods of time.

For instance, why not get some cushioned slippers instead of going barefoot at home?  

If you love running or walking, skip the hard roads and use a low-impact elliptical machine to avoid or reduce plantar fascia inflammation.

Try and support your arches even when you're at home lazing about.

Chill Your Heels And Foot Arches With This Fasciitis Treatment

Resting is great, but adding ice can help with pain in plantar fasciitis. Icing helps reduce plantar fascia swelling, the cause of your heel pain.  

Grab a bag of ice or a cold pack and wrap it in a cloth. Place it on your heel and foot arch to treat your plantar fascia

If you’re one of those brave people, you can dip your feet in a cold-water bath.  If you’re using the ice bag or pack, keep it on for about 15 to 20 minutes a couple of times a day. For an ice bath, just 10 to 15 minutes will do.

Should you warm up plantar fasciitis?

Warm treatments can help get your blood moving and ease stiffness symptoms. They can also help relax that tight plantar fascia in your foot, making it easier to stretch and massage.

But be careful – warmth doesn’t help with pain and might cause swelling and plantar fasciitis symptoms. Usually, just using heat isn’t the go-to for plantar fasciitis. But mixing it up with cold treatments – kinda of like a hot-cold mix – can be helpful.

Want to try this hot-cold mix? Get two tubs ready – one with warm water and one with icy water. First, dip your foot in the icy one for two minutes. Then, switch to the warm one for 30 seconds. Keep swapping between them for about 15 minutes and monitor if you plantar fascia symptoms reduce.


Be Smart With Painkillers

Ever taken aspirin or ibuprofen for a headache or soreness?  They can help with plantar fasciitis pain, inflammation and plantar fascia swelling for a bit.  But before making them a regular thing, chat with your doctor.  Especially give it a miss if you’ve had kidney issues, stomach ulcers, or allergies to these meds.

Pick The Right Shoes For Happy Feet

Good shoes are a foot’s best friend. People should match their shoes to the activities at hand. Going for a walk? Rock those sneakers instead of flip-flops.

The best shoes are the right fit and let your toes breathe. Say no to pointy and high heels. Go for roomy toes and soft soles. Bonus if they’ve got good arch supports to spread out the pressure.

For a boost in heel support, some shoes have this cool plastic bit in the back. You can’t see it, but if you press the heel and it doesn’t squish down, that’s a win! It means the shoe has got your heel’s back.

When shoe shopping, if they don’t feel awesome right away, move on. No need to play the long game of “breaking them in.” Great shoes should be comfy from the get-go.

The right shoes should feel good the moment you put them on - there shouldn't be a need to "break them in"

Boost Your Heel And Arch Support 24/7 With Orthotics

Even with top-notch shoes, sometimes your feet crave a bit more love. Here’s what you can try:

Off-the-shelf foot helpers

If your shoes aren’t hitting the spot, grab insoles, arch supports, or heel cups from the store. You can score these at stores or online, usually under 20 bucks.

These handy little additions, made from rubber or plastic, slide right into your shoes. They give an extra cushiony feel and lift to your arch, helping ease the stress on that tricky plantar fascia.

Still need more? Some specialty shoe stores up their game with even better plantar fascia inserts. The best bit? They often have a footwear whiz (pedorthotist) to guide you to the dreamiest fit.

Special Socks For Plantar Fasciitis

Got plantar fasciitis? There are socks for that! They can help chill out the pain and plantar fascia swelling. How? They squeeze just the right spots on your heel and arch, boosting your blood flow.

You mostly focus on your foot here, so ankle socks might be the ticket. If you’re into running or sports, there are even socks without toes – kinda like snug sleeves for your feet.

These socks come in different squeeze-levels. For sports, you might want a tighter plantar fascia squeeze, but for daily stuff, a lighter touch is cool. Price-wise, they range from $10 to $60. Hunt for them in shoe stores or online.

Tape it up for foot support

Need some backup for your foot? Taping can be a cool trick. It offers support and can ease that pain for a bit. There are two taping styles to consider.

First, there’s the old-school athletic tape. It’s been a buddy for sore bones and muscles for ages and does a solid job for plantar fasciitis too. But, heads up, it’s kinda stiff. It’s great for daily stuff but can limit your move if not put on right.

Then, there’s the stretchy kinesiology tape. You know, those colorful strips you see on athletes during games? It gives some support but lets you move freely, making it a top pick for exercise or sports. Just make sure you slap it on the right way.

Nighttime Gear For Plantar Fasciitis

Got one of those foot braces for nighttime? They’re called night splints. They keep your foot steady, with your toes aiming up. Night splints gently stretches the plantar fascia and nearby muscles while you dream to reduce painful symptoms.

The cool part? It can help ditch that ouchy morning foot feeling. Just a heads up, it might feel weird at first, and you gotta wear night splints regularly to make them work and reduce your plantar fasciitis pain.

Do Some Foot Therapy Exercises To Relieve Fasciitis Symptoms

Foot exercises and stretches for the feet to help plantar fasciitis? They’re one of the best treatments for plantar fasciitis to get rid of foot pain, especially when you first wake up or after you’ve been busy doing your daily activities. Do these stretches several times a day to really feel the magic. Here are some you can try.

Try the Towel Stretch

Want to give that plantar fascia and Achilles tendon a good stretch and get some fast pain relief? This move might kick that morning foot ouch to the curb. And hey, keep a towel by your bed for this. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit and stretch your legs out with straight knees.
  • Wrap a towel around your foot, right under the toes.
  • Grab each end of the towel with your hands, holding it above your knees.
  • Gently pull the towel, making your foot stretch towards you.
  • Keep it there for about 15 to 30 seconds, and go for it 2 to 4 times.
  • Do this up to five times throughout the day.

Chill with the Frozen Bottle Roll

Got a water bottle in the freezer? It’s not just for sipping! Rolling it under your foot can help with that plantar fasciitis ouch. Plus, it’s icy cool while stretching – a great plantar fasciitis treatment. Here’s the game plan:

  • Pop that frozen bottle on the floor.
  • Line up your foot so the bottle sits between the front and back of your foot.
  • Press down and roll it under your foot, but don’t hurt yourself.
  • Keep the roll going for around five minutes.
  • Try this up to three times daily.

Let’s Do the Wall Stretch

Do you feel like your calf or Achilles tendon is a bit tight? This might be adding to your foot pain / plantar fasciitis. Let’s give those parts a good stretch with this plantar fasciitis treatment wall exercise:

  • Stand up and face a wall, placing your hands at about where your eyes are.
  • Put the leg you wanna stretch just a step back from the other.
  • Make sure your back heel sticks to the floor, then bend your front knee until you feel the leg stretch behind.
  • Hold that feel-good stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and do it 2 to 4 times.
  • Aim to do this three or four times daily, for most of the week.

Let’s Try a Simple Toe Stretch

Want a nice stretch from your toes through your calf? This one’s easy and you can even do it while chilling or on a call. Here’s how:

  • Sit down and straighten your leg so only your heel touches the ground.
  • Now, just reach down, grab your big toe, and pull it up and back, lifting your ankle a bit.
  • Enjoy that stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and do it 2 to 4 times.
  • Aim to do this a few times throughout the day. Enjoy!

Easy Stair Stretch for Your Heel and Calf

Want a simple stretch for your foot and calf? Try this on your stairs. It’s super easy and will help with flexibility and heel comfort. Here’s how:

  • Start by standing on the first step like you’re about to walk up.
  • Hold the railing for balance, then hurry back a bit until only your toes and front of your feet are on the step.
  • Gently let your heels dip past the step, feeling a soft stretch in your foot and up to your knee.
  • Stay like this for 15 to 30 seconds, then use your calf muscle to pull your heel back to the step level.
  • Do this little routine 2 to 4 times every day. Easy peasy!

Give Your Feet a Quick Massage & Foot Stretch

Feeling some heel pain? Massaging your feet can be a simple fix, especially if you do it right when you wake up. It could help with that morning heel ache – don’t hestiate to apply some self-administered physical therapy!.

It’s nice to warm up your feet before you start, especially after a long day or exercise. Maybe take a warm bath, shower, or soak your feet in warm water.

Grab some lotion or oil if you have it. Now, let’s get massaging! Spend about two minutes rubbing each foot. Go from the heel to the toes, and remember the sides.

Your thumbs can do a lot of the work. Push them deep into the bottom of your foot, moving from toes to heel. Feel a tight spot? Use your thumbs to press in the middle of your arch and pull outwards.

Finished massaging? Cool your feet with some ice for 15 minutes. That’s it – a quick feel-good routine for your feet and heel bone where the plantar fascia connects.

leg pain
Give your feet a regular massage to relieve heel pain - better yet, get someone else to do it!

When A Podiatrist Can Help Ease The Pain & Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis

Do you have heel pain? Plantar fasciitis might be the sneaky culprit. It’s a top reason many people feel a sting in their heels. If this pain keeps you from bouncing around like you want, let’s do something about it!

Kick-off by getting comfy shoes, giving your heel some relaxed ice time, and doing a few stretches here and there. If that doesn’t help, it’s cool – just chat with a podiatrist. We have tips to get you strutting pain-free in no time!

So if you have foot pain / plantar fasciitis that just won’t go away, even after trying things at home for a couple of months, it might be a good idea to see a podiatrist. We are foot and ankle health professionals who have many years of education  and experience with heel pain and what it takes to get rid of it once and for all.

Ignoring heel pain or plantar fasciitis never cures it and your situation will likely get worse the longer you leave it.   Take control today by booking in online or call us today on (03) 4237 7165 to see one of our podiatrists and get this issue sorted once and for all.

Heel Pain

Understand what causes your heel pain and what you can do to get rid of it once and for all. Find out what treatments can get you back to walking pain free so you can enjoy living an active life again!

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