The nagging pain of plantar fasciitis can not only affect your ability to perform daily activities, it can also affect your mood. Easing heel pain from plantar fasciitis may require a combination of approaches to be effective in providing the relief you’re after. Here are some of the proven, best ways to get rid of heel pain.
Take some time out of your busy schedule to literally put your feet up. Stop or reduce activities that seem to be causing your heel pain. Get rid of the heels and switch to more comfortable shoes with good arch support. Get a professional foot massage, or give yourself one at home.
Tightness of the Achilles tendons and calf muscles can contribute to heel pain by keeping the plantar fascia in a constantly tense state. Regular stretching can help lengthen and relax the plantar fascia. Try out our recommended exercises for heel pain to help loosen things up. They’re perfect for morning heel pain that can make it hard to get your day started.
Anti-inflammatory medications are an effective pain treatment for plantar fasciitis. Options range from over-the-counter NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, to doctor-administered cortisone injections.
Night splints help keep the ankle in an overnight position that elongates the plantar fascia. This creates less tension in the heel, and, as a result, less pain. Several studies have shown that night splints improved heel pain in roughly 80% of people who use them. Night splints appear to be especially beneficial for those who’ve been experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis for longer than 12 months.
Ice packs / Ice soaks
Since cold helps reduce inflammation, ice can be effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Ice massages, ice baths, or ice packs have all been used to relieve heel pain. With an ice massage, ice is rubbed over the painful heel using a circular motion and moderate pressure for five to 10 minutes. To make an ice bath, fill a shallow pan with water and ice, submerge the heel and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the toes out of the ice water to prevent injuries from exposure to the cold. Crushed ice in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen corn or peas wrapped in a towel make for good ice packs because they can be molded to the foot and heel. It’s best to use ice therapy after exercise, stretching, or after a day’s work.
Over-the-counter arch supports may be useful for those with mild heel pain. Custom, full-length orthotics that provide semi-rigid arch and heel support have proven successful in treating plantar fasciitis heel pain. Heel cups decrease the impact on the heel bone, reducing plantar fascia tension by slightly elevating the heel on a soft cushion.
Are you struggling to find an effective solution for your persistent heel pain? Contact our Austin-area podiatry office for a thorough examination of your foot. We can help pinpoint the cause of your heel pain and provide you with the right options for finding relief.