The plantar fascia is the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes swollen or inflamed, it is called plantar fasciitis.
Successful Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
A successful treatment of plantar fasciitis includes a mix of various healing and preventative measures. No single treatment seems to be successful in treating plantar fasciitis. For many people a combination of treatments have been proven to give pain relief and to prevent plantar fasciitis.
RICE – Rest, Ice Massage, Compression & Elevation
- Frequent massage of the plantar aponeurosis or the plantar fascial ligament using an anti inflammatory gel such as an arnica based gel often helps to reduce the inflammation and the pain.
- Fill a plastic bottle with water and place it in your freezer for a few hours. Roll your foot over the ice cold bottle to reduce the inflammation. Do a few times a day for at least 10 minutes.
- Wear a compression sock or sleeve. A night splint helps to give relief at night and to make the first steps in the morning less painful.
- No exercising. The plantar fascia needs to recover and can't handle any more stress. Stretching the calve muscles, the foot and ankles can further help to speed up the recovery process. Deep muscle massages are also helpful.
- Certain exercises help strengthen the muscles which will help to prevent plantar fasciitis in the future. Try picking up pens or marbles with your toes, you can also pull a towel towards you that you grabbed with your toes.
- Wear proper shoes for plantar fasciitis as this will help to support your feet and put less stress on them during the recovery time. Try not to walk around barefoot and wear supportive shoes around the clock, at home, work and during leisure activities.
- Take care of your diet. Make sure you don't have any vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Increase your intake of healthy omega 3 fats (found in fish, for example) as this might further help to reduce the inflammation of the plantar fascia.
- Visit a podiatrist if you have severe pain.