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Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the heel. Plantar fasciitis has several causes, including injury or long-term suffering due to incongruities in the shape of the heel.

Short Term Treatment
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, there are several immediate measures that you can take to find relief. Some of these methods include:
Ice your heel. This will provide pain relief and will also work to reduce the inflammation you’re experiencing in the heel.
Use an over-the-counter pain reliever such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). You can either take NSAIDs in pill form (ibuprofen) or in a cream that can be applied to the afflicted area.
Rest! Staying off your feet should be one of the first treatments you employ when you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. If you are aware of what is causing you to experience the pain in the heel, discontinue that activity for a few days while you heal.
Try new shoes. Shoes with cushioning in the heel can help to ease the pain.
Some sufferers find that putting shoes on first thing in the morning can help to protect from pain.
For the first couple of days that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, avoid using heat as a treatment method. Heat can exacerbate symptoms. If you do want to use heat, use it by alternating hot and cold. A common way to do this is to take contrast baths, alternating soaking the heel in hot and cold water. Contrast baths should always end, however, with cold water.

Long Term Treatment
Many individuals find that the treatments above are effective in relieving the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. However, if the pain persists and treatment is necessary for longer than six weeks, a physician should be consulted.

If plantar fasciitis is a long-term issue for you, there are several methods of prolonged treatment. They include:
Night splints are an effective form of treatment for plantar fasciitis. Night splints hold the foot at a 90-degree angle through the night, keeping the toes pointed up. The foot being extended in this position creates a subtle stretch to the heel.
Walking casts are sometimes used in treatment of plantar fasciitis. A cast requires rehabilitation once it’s been taken off, in order to restore use to the heel. For this reason, casting can be considered a less convenient option than others.
Shoe inserts are a very popular form of treatment for plantar fasciitis. Shoe inserts are custom-made to the individual that will be wearing them. Custom shoe inserts require a prescription from a doctor and work to correct any abnormalities in the shape of the foot. By offsetting any imbalances, the shoe inserts help to prevent the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

As anyone who has suffered from plantar fasciitis knows, the condition can be very painful. However, when properly treated and managed, it is very possible to maintain a lifestyle that does not involve the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

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