If you have ever experienced plantar fasciitis in your heels, you know the pain can be excruciating and debilitating. It’s also a vicious circle of pain, recovery, reinjury, pain, recovery, and so on. Traditional plantar fasciitis treatment can offer excellent results, especially when coupled with osteopathic medicine treatment options.
Understanding the what plantar fasciitis is and what causes it are the first steps toward proper treatment.
What is It?
The word “plantar” refers to the sole of the foot. The word fasciitis comes from the word fascia, which is a band of connective tissue found throughout the body. For this particular discussion, it runs along the bottom of the foot.
This band of fibrous tissue may become inflamed if it is strained beyond normal extension, which causes the tissue to tear or stretch. You may therefore feel a sharp pain in the heels of your feet that makes it difficult for you to walk or even get out of bed in the morning. Naturally, stretching the muscles in the area may make it worse. For that reason, walking on your feet too much exacerbates the problem … but so does sitting too much. Sleeping may even make it worse.
The reason that resting can be problematic is because doing so enables the muscles to finally relax. Once you start moving again, however, it shocks the muscle by forcing it to stretch yet again.
In time, plantar fasciitis tends to heal itself, but it might take quite a while. Clearly, this pattern of healing and flareups can be exhausting, but plantar fasciitis treatment and self-care may help.
Factors that may be associated with plantar fasciitis include:
- How the feet are shaped
- How the individual walks
- Being between the ages of 40 and 60
- Participation in certain types of sports and other activities, such as basketball on a hard surface
- Occupations that require standing or walking for long periods of time
- How the feet are shaped
- Wearing shoes or sandals that do not properly support the feet
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Self-Care
Self-care may help relieve the symptoms. They include:
- Temporarily discontinuing the activity that causes the pain, such as laying off on shooting hoops for a while
- Completing certain exercises that gently loosen calf muscles, which we can show you when you come in.
- Icing the heel
- Using over-the-counter antiinflammatory pain relievers, but not for an extended period of time
- Wearing proper footgear
- Rolling a small massage ball under your foot for several minutes to relieve pressure
If self-care does not completely resolve the issue, seeing our osteopathic medicine doctor here in Southfield, Michigan, may help. An osteopathic medicine doctor offers a comprehensive approach to treating ailments, and that may include manipulating the muscles as well as finding the source of the problem.
It’s possible that your foot pain is caused by a problem elsewhere, or your plantar fasciitis may be causing pain in your knees, hips, or back. For this reason, a more holistic approach to plantar fasciitis treatment may be more ideal than only treating the pain. Osteopathic medicine focuses on treating the whole person to help ensure problems do not come back.
In more serious cases, cortisone can be injected into the plantar fascia, and two surgical procedures are common: plantar fascia release and gastrocnemius recession.
To make an appointment to see Dr. Max Feinstein for osteopathic treatment due to plantar fasciitis, visit our website or call our office.