Dr. Mike’s Rundown: How to treat Plantar Fasciitis
Foot pain first thing in the morning or general pain on the bottom of your foot are good indicators of Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation or tearing of the fibrous Fascial tissue that extends from the toes to the back of the heel. When it comes to Plantar Fasciitis, there are a many reasons as to why it happens, but luckily once diagnosed there are a few ways treat your discomfort and even get rid of it completely.
What are common ways to diagnosePlantar Fasciitis?
- Examinations by your doctor can include checking your feet, watching you stand and walk as well as discussing your symptoms. Doctors will most likely ask where the pain is located, the time of day your foot hurts most and your daily activities.
- X-rays of your foot may be necessary if the physician suspects a problem with the bones of your foot, such as a stress fracture or a heel spur.
What are your treatment options?
In most cases, Plantar Fasciitis does not require surgery. Conservative treatments are usually all that is required. However, every person’s body responds to PlantarFasciitis treatment differently and recovery times may vary.
Home Care/ Homework is not easy. As the saying goes nothing good comes easy, and home therapy falls into this category. There are a number of home therapy devices on the market that can help breakdown adhesions and facilitate blood flow to the Plantar Fascia include:
- Instrument Assisted Myofascial Release (IAMR), which can release tight tissue and is more effective than using your own hands to “digout” your foot, which usually results in giving up before any work has been done. Using an instrument such as the BioZoom, which allows you to specifically target “sick tissue” with a deep percussive force. This will help adhesions to break-up, return tissue to its normal tension and integrity, all while increasing blood flow to the area. The BioZoom provides a vibratory effect to naturally reduce pain and increase superficial blood flow.*
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) such as the BioPad, which will allow you to increase blood flow to the area, maintain and/or increase muscle tone and decrease swelling and pain.*
- Rollers, which can be used to not only roll your feet, but the Achilles and calf as well. To address the Plantar Fascia, the Addaday marble roller delivers an innovative approach with 3 marbles mounted on a base. You can place it on the ground and roll your foot while you are sitting at the end of a long day, or hold it and manually rub down your Plantar Fascia, Achilles, and calf.
- Night splints, which are devices that are worn at night while you sleep, helping to keep the Plantar Fascia stretched to promote lengthened tissue.
- And lastly, Orthotic devices (insoles) which are commonly sold over-the-counter and can help to maintain your arch. As there are many foot variations and different reasons for an inflamed Plantar Fascia, consulting your doctor or a foot specialists is recommended. Your doctor may recommend and fit you for a custom orthotic. Orthotics can also help promote healing to reverse Plantar Fasciitis.
- Corticosteroids injections deliver medicine into the injured fascia to reduce pain. Although steroids are a very effective and powerful anti-inflammatory, they may weaken the Plantar Fascia and result in further damage.
- Physical/ Physio Therapy can also be a solution to foot pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. Your therapist has many tools at their fingertips, most importantly their hands. Manual myofascial release is an effective tool to break down adhered tissue. In addition, therapists may utilize stretching, exercise and various modalities such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound and cold laser.
- And lastly, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) treatment with sound waves is used to stimulate damaged tissue and encourage healing. This is a relatively new method in treating Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is not an easy problem to fix. Stretching, myofascial release, rolling and electrical muscle stimulation need to be part of your daily homework. If your homework does not mitigate the pain, seeing a professional is your next step. To learn more about Plantar Fascial pain and how to address it, visit addaday.com or reach out via social media at Insert social media handles.
*Please see Addaday.com to learn how to use the BioZoom, BioPad, and Marble Roller