Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition resulting in a gradual onset of pain and tenderness under the heel, sometimes even radiating into the foot. This is typically an overuse injury to the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes (called the plantar fascia). When the band becomes inflamed, it leads to stabbing heel pain, especially first thing in the morning. Symptoms ease as the day progresses or after exercise when the band of tissues loosens up. However, don’t let the lapses in pain fool you! Treatment is necessary to completely rid yourself of plantar fasciitis. Fortunately there are some at-home treatments that you can try:
- Ice – 20 minutes, 1-4 times a day. You can freeze a water bottle and massage the heel and arch by rolling the bottle on the floor with your foot.
- Rest – decrease your activity level for 2-4 weeks. It will help to decrease the strain to the plantar fascia.
- Medications – ask Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. if you require a course of anti-inflammatory medications.
- Shoes – No barefoot walking for 2-4 weeks. Avoid slippers, flip-flops, thongs, or flat shoes that do not have arch support. Wear supportive athletic shoes or tennis shoes instead.
- Arch supports – We may recommend over-the-counter arch supports or prescribe custom orthotics to place in your shoes. Gradually increase the amount of time you use the supports. They may cause you to feel some soreness in your leg.
- Stretching – keeping the plantar fascia loose and limber is important. Try these simple stretches:
- Sit on the floor with the leg to be stretched straight out in front of you. Place a towel or belt around the ball of your foot and pull the ends towards you until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold and repeat each morning.
- Stand facing a wall and step the leg to be stretched back behind you. Make sure your toes are pointing forward and your back knee is straight, then lunge forward with your front leg, hold and switch.
Of course, it’s always best to consult with us here at Foot Specialists of Long Island before starting any new treatment program. For more information on plantar fasciitis, call Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY office today.
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