Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Most patients with plantar fasciitis are effectively treated with the following measures:
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the plantar fascia which may offer pain relief and reduce inflammation.
- Rest: Decrease or avoid the activities that worsen the pain.
- Ice: Apply ice packs over a towel on the painful area at least twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes for the first few days.
- Night splints: Use night splints to stretch the plantar fascia and allow it to heal.
- Supportive shoes and orthotics: Your doctor may recommend shoes with good support and cushioning. Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) may also be helpful.
- Physical therapy: Your physical therapist may design an exercise program that focuses on stretching your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, and strengthening the muscles of the lower leg. In addition to exercises, application of athletic tape to support the bottom of your foot may also help relieve symptoms.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy: During this procedure, sound waves are targeted on to the painful area to stimulate the healing process.
- Surgery: Occasionally, surgery to release the tight plantar fascia may be needed.