If you have plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes intense heel pain, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common orthopedic foot conditions.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that runs from your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed and swollen.
Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis. Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff of Foot Care Specialists, PC in Quincy and Dedham, Massachusetts, offers the following tips for living with this common condition.
Understand your condition
The best first step to relieving plantar fasciitis pain is to understand what plantar fasciitis is and why you may have it.
Your plantar fascia is a band of thick tissue on the sole of your foot. When you rub the arch of your foot, you’re feeling your plantar fascia. This tissue covers and protects the many bones in your foot.
Overuse and excessive impact can cause your plantar fascia to become stretched and irritated, which can lead to inflammation, swelling, and frustrating heel pain.
Your risk of plantar fasciitis increases if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Have flat feet (low arches)
- Have high arches
- Have tight ankle muscles, especially your Achilles tendon, which connects your calf and heel
- Recently started a new physical activity or increased your workouts
- Run long distances
- Wear shoes with poor arch support
Relieving heel pain
Here are some strategies for reducing the pain caused by plantar fasciitis:
Icing your foot can help reduce pain-causing inflammation. Apply an ice pack several times a day.
Take over-the-counter medications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen can cut down on swelling.
Adjust your activities
Plantar fasciitis may occur when you make changes in your physical activity routine. For example, if you usually walk for exercise but recently started running, your plantar fascia may complain about the change.
You don’t have to give up exercise, which is so good for your heart and your overall health. But taking a temporary break from foot-pounding activities such as running could help. Try switching temporarily to an activity that’s easier on your feet, such as swimming or riding a stationary bike.
Walking or running on a softer surface (a cushioned track rather than a hard sidewalk or road, for example), can also reduce impact on your feet.
Add arch support
The right shoes can help relieve stress on your plantar fascia. Custom orthotics can also provide additional support to your feet.
If tight muscles are contributing to your plantar fasciitis, stretches may provide relief. Dr. Lukoff can recommend stretches that are right for you.
Promote healing with cold laser therapy
When other measures don’t offer the relief you need, Dr. Lukoff may recommend treatment with Multi Radiance Medical’s MR4™ super pulsed cold laser therapy. MR4 laser treatments use light energy to penetrate the plantar fascia and reduce inflammation and pain.
Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that helps heal the inflamed tissue. It’s a safe, effective way to treat plantar fasciitis.
Promote healing with injections
Injections offer another method of healing damaged tissue. Dr. Lukoff also offers AmnioFix® Sports Med Regenerative Injectables, a minimally invasive treatment for plantar fasciitis. These injections contain amniotic growth factors that help heal the plantar fascia tissue.
Having AmnioFix Sports Med injection treatment is a simple office procedure.
Find relief for your plantar fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis or any other type of foot condition, Dr. Lukoff is here to help. He can evaluate your condition and create a custom treatment plan to get you back on your feet fast. Call our office, or book an appointment online today.