Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. People who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
Injections. Injecting steroid medication into the tender area can provide temporary pain relief. Multiple shots aren’t recommended because they can weaken your plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
Stretching and strengthening exercises or using special devices may relieve symptoms. They include:
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you a series of exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. A therapist might also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.
- Orthotics. Your doctor might prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose supportive shoes. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, thick soles, good arch support and extra cushioning. Don’t walk barefoot.
- Don’t wear worn-out athletic shoes. Replace your old athletic shoes before they stop supporting and cushioning your feet.
- Change your sport. Try a low-impact sport, such as swimming or bicycling, instead of walking or jogging.
- Apply ice. Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 minutes three or four times a day. Icing can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles