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Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain, and therefore treatment of the condition is necessary for long-term comfort in the patient. For most people, the treatment of plantar fasciitis is completely finished within one year. Ninety-five percent of those with plantar fasciitis are able to treat it without the incidence of surgery. The most common forms of treatment are:

As with any injury that involves the foot, the most common and the first form of treatment typically implemented in those suffering from plantar fasciitis is to stay off of the foot and to discontinue the activities that are most causing the pain to occur in the heel. For example, running or walking on hard surfaces causes inflammation.

Ice and Pain Relief
Ice reduces inflammation and reduces pain, and therefore many people with plantar fasciitis are encouraged to put ice on the heel. If approved by a physician, the use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen may also be used. NSAIDs may be consumed as a pill or may be applied via a cream.

Incidentally, heat may actually make the pain worse, so those suffering from plantar fasciitis are discouraged from applying heat directly to the pain through a hot water bottle or heating pad. Contrast baths (alternating hot and cold) may help ease the pain, but patients should end the bath with cold water, not hot.

Use Proper Shoes
Shoes with great shock absorption and proper arch support are best for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. A well-cushioned sole is best, and shoe inserts or heel cups can help a great deal, too. To maintain proper weighting, any inserts used should be placed in both shoes, not just the shoe of the afflicted heel.

Keep Yourself Supported
Though it may not seem natural to do, those suffering from plantar fasciitis should put shoes on immediately when waking up in the morning. Slippers or walking barefoot can actually increase the pain.

Doctors only consider surgery for plantar fasciitis in extreme situations. For those who do not wish to seek surgery or are not eligible for surgery, there are ongoing treatments that can help one to heal. For example, custom-made shoe inserts or orthotics can create a better fit and therefore less pain than one bought at a drug store. Custom orthotic treatment requires a prescription, though, and therefore a doctor must recommend this form of treatment.

A walking cast on the lower leg is a form of treatment in that it forces one to rest the afflicted leg, however, it can be rather costly. Further, this form of treatment requires rehabilitation after the fact.

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