If you or someone you know has plantar fasciitis, you know or have heard how excruciating the pain can be. Fortunately, this painful foot condition tends to resolve and heal on its own. The healing, however, can last as few as a few weeks to as much as a couple months. No matter how long or short the healing process may take for you, the pain makes each day one too long.
There is no magic cure for plantar fasciitis and as the condition involves the repairing and healing of a foot ligament, there is only so much one can do to “speed up” the healing process. There are, however, treatments one can do to make sure the healing progresses instead of having the tendon get re-injured.
Give Your Feet a Rest
To give your foot time to heal, the best thing anyone with plantar fasciitis can do is to limit the time he or she is on their feet. Plantar fasciitis is the injuring of the tendon on the bottom of your feet due to sudden, excessive pressure on it. Try and spend as little time as possible standing, walking or running. Icing the bottom of the foot with an icepack can help numb the pain.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Besides resting it, strengthening exercises can also help the tendon to heal quicker. With more pressure and weight on it, the stronger the tendon needs to be to not be as prone to painful injury. Stretches that involve flexing the foot upwards so as to lengthen the tendon as well exercises like massaging the bottom of the foot by rolling it over a tennis ball on the ground, are great places to start. Your podiatrist will likely be able to show you other tendon strengthening exercises that can help speed up recovery.
For those looking to continue the stretching and strengthening of their plantar fasciitis tendon during the night, specialized braces are available that keep the foot flexed upward.
Shoe Insoles, Arch Supports and Boots
Most of the time, those with plantar fasciitis are too busy to completely “kick up their feet.” They have jobs to do and families to attend to. Regardless of your circumstances, if you must continue to be on your feet after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, there are shoe insoles and arch supports available that can redistribute the pressure from your tendon to other areas of the foot. There are also specialized boots, reminiscent of ski boots that can be worn by those who have more serious cases of plantar fasciitis.
Sometimes a simple changing of footwear can ease your plantar fasciitis pain and be a good first step on the road to healing and recovery. Shoes that are flat, have little to no arch support and padding as well shoes with heels can redistribute the pressure on the feet directly onto the tendon, which can increase the pain and damage.
While you’re resting your feet, over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Advil and Aleve can help lessen the discomfort.
If you have plantar fasciitis, one can’t rush the healing and recovery process. The tendon will have to heal on its own. While the healing process can’t be “sped up,” there are things like resting the feet, limiting one’s activity on the feet, wearing braces and orthotics, doing regular ligament strengthening exercises and wearing shoes with good arch support can all aid in the healing process and keep your recovery from being prolonged.
When your plantar fasciitis takes longer than a few months to heal, it is recommended that one schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will be able to better diagnose your plantar fasciitis issue and have more intensive treatment that may be necessary for your feet to fully heal.