When plantar fasciitis flares up, you can ease the pain with ice or by taking some over-the-counter pain relievers. These measures take care of the pain, and they can even offer some healing support as they reduce inflammation in and around the plantar fascia. However, if you really want to heal from plantar fasciitis longer-term, you will need to do more than apply ice and pop a pain pill. Here are some more intensive, longer-term treatments.
Stretch Your Calves
So often, plantar fasciitis is brought on by tight calves. Your calf muscle tightens up and pulls on the structures all of the way down the back of your ankle and the base of your foot. If you can loosen up your calves, you relieve this tension, clearing the way for your plantar fascia to start healing.
There are many different ways to stretch your calves, but one easy way is to stand with your toes against the wall. Simply raise your toes, place them a few inches up on the wall, and keep your heel planted on the ground. Lean forward a bit, feeling the stretch in your calf as you do so. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then release it. Repeat this stretch a few times with both legs. Do it morning and night, and you should find that your plantar fascia slowly becomes less sore.
The shoes you wear can also play a vital role in your plantar fasciitis, or lack thereof. If you are someone who pronates, or rolls their ankle inward with each stride, wearing shoes with little to no arch support can put more strain on your plantar fascia. Look instead for shoes with plenty of arch support, and slowly change over to them. Wear them for half a day at first. Then, work your way up to wearing them for a full day.
Finding shoes that fit your foot and also support your stride is not always easy. Consider visiting a running store where they can analyze your stride and recommend shoes for you. Even if you only ever walk in the shoes, having a pair that really fits makes all the difference in managing plantar fasciitis.
If changing your shoes and stretching your calves does not clear up your plantar fasciitis within a few weeks, then it's time to make an appointment with a podiatrist. They can recommend more intensive treatments, such as cortisone injections.
Contact a podiatrist near you for more suggestions for plantar fasciitis relief.