Plantar fasciitis can sometimes be so painful that it makes walking difficult. Some cases of this foot condition heal on their own with rest, although it may take several months. Other times, the pain is more severe and medical treatments are needed, especially when fasciitis turns into a chronic condition. Your podiatrist has a few options for treating plantar fasciitis to help your pain. Here are some treatments that might help.
Wearing A Splint Or Boot At Night
The heel pain from plantar fasciitis is often worse when you've been off of your feet for a long period of time. When you get up and stretch the tendon as you walk, the pain can be severe. One solution for this is to wear a splint on your feet when you sleep at night. The splint or boot is made from a rigid foam material that is comfortable for sleeping, yet strong enough to hold your foot in a stretched position. By keeping the tendon and fascia stretched while you sleep, it prevents the intense pain you feel when you first get up and start walking in the morning.
Custom Shoe Inserts
Your podiatrist can make custom inserts for your shoes from molds of your feet. An insert distributes your weight more evenly to take pressure off your heel when you walk. It may even lift your heel somewhat to reduce the amount of motion in your tendon and fascia when you walk. Wearing the right shoes can help, too. Shoes that provide stability and support are best for everyday wear and when running or walking.
If your pain is bothersome and it doesn't respond very well to the application of ice or over-the-counter medication, your podiatrist might inject corticosteroid medication into the arch of your foot. This drug reduces inflammation and swelling, and it has a long-lasting effect that can also provide pain relief. The effects can last for a few weeks, which gives your fascia time to heal.
Shock Wave Therapy
Shock therapy is sometimes used to treat plantar fasciitis. This treatment uses sound waves directed at your heel to increase blood flow that helps with healing. The sound waves can also affect your nerves so you feel less pain. This treatment might be done when you haven't had good results from other treatments. As a final option, your doctor may even consider surgery to remove damaged tissue or to detach the fascia from your heel bone.
Fortunately, plantar fasciitis often heals without the need for complex medical procedures. However, you'll need to identify what caused the condition and correct the cause to keep it from coming back. You might need to lose weight or change the style of your shoes to keep your feet healthy and free from pain. You can contact experts like East Village Foot & Ankle Surgeons for more information.