Plantar fasciitis pain, which originates from tightness in the band of connective tissue that runs along your arch, can make daily life difficult. Walking is painful enough, let along running, jumping, or climbing a ladder! In most cases, the pain will linger as long as you don't change your habits and take a targeted approach to treatment. A great way to approach plantar fasciitis treatment is in three stages, which you'll discover below.
Stage 1: At-Home Ice and Stretching
The tightness in your plantar fascia is mostly related to inflammation. By icing your foot several times a day, you can reduce the inflammation and hopefully speed up healing. Hold the ice in place for about 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this three times a day and after you do any physical activity that bothers your foot.
Also, focus on really stretching your plantar fascia to alleviate the tightness. You can do this just by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you and pulling back on your toes with your hands. Always stretch before icing and whenever your feet are feeling overly sore.
Stage 2: Physical Therapy
If you stretch and ice for a week and your condition does not improve, then it's time to make an appointment with a physical therapist. He or she can evaluate the strength of various muscles in your legs. Your calves, for example, may be overly weak, causing the plantar fascia to take more strain than it should.
Once your physical therapist evaluates you, he or she will then recommend exercises to help strengthen the weaker parts of your legs. As these parts slowly grow stronger, your plantar fascia will be under less pressure, which allows it to heal.
Stage 3: Cortisone Injections
Most patients recover from plantar fasciitis within a month or two of working with a physical therapist. But if this does not jump-start your healing, there is a more aggressive approach: cortisone injections. Cortisone is a steroid that speeds up your body's healing process. If your doctor injects it into the sore area on your foot, it will relieve inflammation so your body can heal. You should feel pain relief within hours after the injection, though the injection itself can be a bit painful.
If you have plantar fasciitis, don't go on suffering. Start icing and stretching today, and then move on to the subsequent care steps if needed. For more information, contact companies like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C.