If you’re suffering from ongoing heel or arch pain, see your podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis. He or she can evaluate your condition and recommend ways to find relief. Fortunately, with plantar fasciitis, there are often many ways to treat the condition without surgery. Specifically, your podiatrist can recommend certain products and techniques that can make a big difference in your pain.
Taping the foot
Using special tape to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis is very effective when done correctly. A skilled podiatrist can tape your feet in a way that gives you effective relief from acute flare-ups. He or she may have you come back every few days or week to get the foot re-taped until the inflammation in your feet is under control. This, along with anti-inflammatory medications if prescribed, can bring a great deal of relief. Many people don’t know the proper way to tape a foot, however, so a podiatrist will be able to assist with this process.
Using night splints
A major culprit for plantar fasciitis is tightened calf muscles, also known as equinus. When you lie in bed at night, you may be unknowingly pointing your toes, which shortens the calves over time and causes heel pain when you take a step. To combat this, a properly fitted splint can be used to hold your feet in place at night, preventing you from pointing your toes and shortening the calf muscles. Proper calf stretching exercises should also be used to help lengthen those muscles again.
There are also supports for the foot that can be worn during the day to help relieve pain. These are usually able to be worn inside your shoes comfortably. Your podiatrist can recommend one or more of these that may work well for you.
Choice of shoes
Finally, keep in mind your choice of footwear. High heels are notorious for causing shortened calves over time, making the pain of plantar fasciitis more pronounced. If you wear heels, do so only occasionally if possible. Shoes with no support are also likely to cause more pain, so choose footwear that has proper arch support and that feels comfortable. Arches come in all shapes and sizes – and you need to find shoes that properly fit your feet and cradle your arches. Although quality footwear can be an investment, it’s one worth making when you’re dealing with foot pain.