5 Ways to Manage Your Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Stabbing or burning heel pain from plantar fasciitis can stop you from playing sports, exercising, and doing the other activities you love. Learn more about the condition and the strategies you can use to manage it.

Plantar fasciitis is among the most common causes of heel pain in adults, and living with this condition can make walking or standing difficult. Ultimately, untreated plantar fasciitis can change your gait and increase your risk for back pain, hip pain, and knee joint dysfunction. 

At Platte River Foot and Ankle Surgeons, our highly skilled podiatrists offer resources to relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms. We also recommend strategies to manage your condition to prevent more serious complications. 

Why you have plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick bands of tissue at the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) become irritated and inflamed. These issues can develop as you age and your plantar fascia stretches and weakens.   

Stress and overuse of the plantar fascia tissues during strenuous activities can also contribute to plantar fasciitis pain, especially if you play sports, dance, or run. 

People who stand a lot while working, especially when standing on hard surfaces, can be at high risk for heel pain and other symptoms. 

Other causes of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Obesity
  • Flat feet
  • High foot arches
  • Inflammatory diseases

Heel pain may start as occasional and mild, but, over time, pain can worsen and limit what you can do physically. 

5 ways to manage plantar fasciitis pain

You can manage heel pain and prevent fascia tears and other complications in several ways. Here are five nonsurgical strategies you can try now: 

1. Rest and ice

Resting your feet and applying ice to your heel when you experience pain can reduce tissue inflammation. You might need to avoid certain activities for a few days so you don’t damage your plantar fascia tissues. 

2. Orthotics

Orthotics are devices that keep your foot and ankle in alignment. We offer custom shoe inserts and other orthotics you can wear to alleviate pressure on your heel when walking and exercising. 

3. Exercises and physical therapy

Regularly stretching the tissues in your calf and under your foot can lengthen overly tight muscles that pull on your heel.  You might benefit from meeting with a physical therapist who can assess your needs and recommend which exercises you should do at home. 

4. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy delivers high-energy shockwaves into the plantar fascia tissues to trigger your body’s healing processes. This noninvasive treatment can reduce inflammation and support the healing of irritated or torn tissues. 

5. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP therapy uses substances from your blood to heal inflamed or torn plantar fascia tissue. We take a sample of your blood and prepare it in a fast-spinning centrifuge that separates platelets from other materials. 

We inject the resulting high concentration of platelets into the bottom of your foot to heal the damaged, inflamed tissue around your heel. 

When surgery may be an option

If you’re still experiencing heel pain with nonsurgical therapies, we discuss your options for surgery to release overly tight tissues that tug on your heel.  

Surgery is typically a last-resort treatment option when other treatments aren’t working, but it may be an option if you have severe, chronic heel pain. 

Call the Platte River Foot and Ankle Surgeons office near you to learn more about the options for treating plantar fasciitis pain, or book a consultation online today. 

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