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Foot Pain Relief Feature Article

Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Dan Daley DC

Taking the first few steps in the morning is a nightmarish experience for every plantar fascitis patient. The pain is intense at the inner side of the heel and slowly subsides as the day progresses but returns after long hours of standing and walking. The pain is also acutely felt on when an individual resumes walking after a long rest.

For many patients, adequate rest can bring relief from
the pain considerably. Scaling down of some of the daily activities like jogging and running; avoidance of walking on rough surfaces; not walking with high-heeled shoes; and avoiding prolonged standing can all reduce the severity of the pain to a great extent and help to control the inflammation.

Using night splints can provide good relief from the pain of plantar fascitis. When the feet are in a position of rest, the tissue (plantar fascia) contracts back to its original shape. Night splints keep the tissues gently stretched and do not allow the contraction of tissues, making the first morning step painless.

Massaging the area of pain with ice may provide relief, especially if a person is facing a lot of exertion and pressure on the feet. Wearing Birkenstock or Mephisto-type sandals inside the house in place of slippers ease the pain greatly while walking.

Rolling on a tennis ball on the plantar fascia followed by ice application for 10 minutes several times per day may offer some relief.

For extreem cases have your physician of choice do some ultra sound to the plantar fascia followed by ice for 10 minutes. This should be done 2 to 3 times per week until it is resolved.

People with flat feet or high arches would do well by using commercially available or custom-made orthotics such as arch supports, heel cups or heel cradles. These orthotics support the longitudinal arch and relieve the plantar fascia of stress and strain. They should be worn from morning to night to provide better support for the plantar fascia to recover quickly. Heel cups and heel cradles, while absorbing the shock and pressure, also protect and cushion the rear foot. Heel cradles can be particularly useful to people with flat feet as can arch braces, which can provide relief from inflammation and pain by supporting and lifting the plantar fascia. Among other methods, plantar fascia tape may also be used for relief from pain, provided it is worn all times with the shoes.

Properly fitting shoes also go a long way in relieving the pain. The shoe must have adequate cushioning at the heel and forefoot, give proper arch support and be fitted with a flexible sole.

Plantar fasciitis patients must review the different methods available for pain relief and choose the method that gives the most comfort and greatest relief from pain.

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