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Basic Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Dealing with plantar fasciitis is a huge pain in the butt. Being an athlete I knew I was at risk of getting injured in some way, but I never thought my injuries would involve my heel; I always thought I would tear my MCL or break my should or something. And now that I have plantar fasciitis I would almost rather break a bone and be done with it.

Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel of the foot via a large number of micro-tears. There are a wide variety of reasons you can get micro-tears in the tendon/ligament, but once you have the condition it is a) very hard to get rid of and b) potentially very painful. Further, there is no guaranteed cure for PF, and podiatrists everywhere recommend a wide variety of treatments to help sufferers eliminate the pain.

The first treatment most doctors recommend involves giving oneself ice massages. Ice massages simply involve taking a block of ice and rubbing your heel with it for 15 minutes. The ice reduces inflammation in the heel while causing it to tighten up (cold tightens, heat loosens). Although pain is typically a result of the tendon going from tight to loose, the reduction in swelling and a gradual return back to normal prevent pain from being an issue.

The second treatment involves finding custom tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis. In order for a shoe to be an effective weapon against PF it must offer very strong arch support while supporting the heel with as much cushion and comfort as possible. Fortunately for us there are a wide variety of shoes that fall into this category, and many manufacturers are starting to make plantar fasciitis shoes given how common the condition is.

The third standard treatment involves getting a custom orthotic you can put into your shoe. Combining an orthotic with a shoe that is specifically designed to assist plantar fasciitis sufferers is the most direct way you can attack the problem throughout the entire day. The problem with other devices, like plantar fasciitis night splints, is that they only help in random situations (like when you are sleeping). It is for this reason we recommend shoes and orthotics versus night splints.

The last treatment we have had success with involves stretching. Stretching loosens up the tendon and can be done at virtually any time (just make sure you are doing the right stretches). This is huge as tightness in the tendon/ligament is the main reason we experience pain.

That's it for today's article. As was mentioned this was intended to be an introduction to various treatment options; please consult a doctor before beginning any treatment plan.