Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the heel area of the feet, with sharp, stabbing pains often experienced first thing in the morning or at the end of a long day on your feet. The plantar fascia is a thick strip of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes, which acts very much like a shock absorber as the body weight in pushed down onto the feet. When this is subjected to excess use, it can become inflamed, and it is this inflammation that causes the pain. Here are 5 possible treatments for this condition.
- Wearing Orthotics Inserts – For many people, plantar fasciitis can be eliminated by wearing special orthotics inserts in their shoes, which gives additional support to the arches. There are online suppliers of these devices and you are advised to buy 3 or even 4 pairs, which will allow you to put them in a range of shoes that you wear on a regular basis. The inserts can be trimmed with scissors to ensure they fit the shoes, and by inserting them into your house slippers as well, you can avoid walking around barefoot, which is not advisable if you suffer with plantar fasciitis.
- Cortisone Steroid Injections – Many professional sportspeople have cortisone steroids injected into the inflamed area, which does provide instant relief, yet it does not address the causes. Long distance runners and jumpers are often affected by plantar fasciitis and with a course of injection every few months, plus wearing arch support inserts, the problem usually disappears. The cortisone stimulates the body’s natural healing elements, and if the pain is intense, cortisone injections can offer instant relief.
- Shockwave Therapy – This is relatively new and involves a specialist directing therapeutic shockwaves to the affected area. If, for example, you suffer from plantar fasciitis and have tried cortisone injections or other treatments without success, shockwave therapy might just do the trick. This treatment could take up to 6 months to be effective, and this is often recommended with severe cases, with research suggesting this is an effective treatment for those who have tried other forms of treatment.
- Acupuncture – This ancient Chinese traditional healing is often used for those with plantar fasciitis, which comes in the form of either traditional acupuncture or electroacupuncture. Both treatments can help the tissue to naturally repair, and by wearing orthotics inserts, the sufferer usually reports a significant improvement. Trigger point massage is another effective treatment for plantar fasciitis, as a person can easily develop trigger points, which cause pain and discomfort. The human foot has a total of 126 muscles, ligaments and tendons, and trigger points can occur at any time, and with the right massage techniques, these knots can be unravelled.
- Surgery – This is very much the last resort, only to be recommended when all other treatments have failed, and it involves making a precise incision into the plantar fascia, thus releasing it. There are risks with this treatment, as it could result in a considerable weakening of the foot arch, which is why the specialist will try other forms of treatment first.
The most popular form of treatment for plantar fasciitis is wearing orthotics inserts in the shoes, which provide essential arch support and if coupled with a change of behaviour, will most likely eliminate the problem. These special supporting devices can be purchased from an online supplier, and it is recommended that you buy several pairs and fit them in all your shoes, thus ensuring that you always have that extra arch support.