Plantar fasciitis is perhaps the most common cause of heel pain, and one of the most common conditions we see and treat at our office. It’s especially common in a place like Coachella Valley, due to it being a community with many middle-aged and older adults who remain active thanks to the beautiful weather and bounty of great attractions and activities.
The good news is that a combination of simple home remedies can provide significant pain relief for plantar fasciitis. Here are a few you may find helpful:
- Rest. Yes, we know that the pain is the sharpest when you first put weight on the foot early in the morning, but the damage to the plantar fascia itself comes from overusing and overstressing your feet. Lay off the hard-impact exercise for a while, in favor of gentler cardio such as swimming or cycling. When swelling is intense, use an ice pack and/or take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen.
- Check your shoes. You might love that blown-out pair of sneakers you bought back during the Bush administration (either one), but they’re probably not providing your feet with the support they need. Look for good arch support and cushioning and a low-to-medium heel. Avoid high heels or going barefoot. If you’re a runner, remember to replace your athletic shoes every 500 miles or so.
- Stretches and physical therapy. Gently stretching your feet, toes, calves, and Achilles tendons can help build up strength and soothe your inflamed tissues. You can try rolling a golf ball or frozen water bottle under your feet as you sit, wrapping a towel around your toes and pulling on the ends of the towel, standard Achilles stretches facing a wall, and others.
- Night splints. These devices, worn at night, gently stretch your plantar fascia and prevent it from tightening as you sleep. They’re a little difficult to get used to for some people, but can make a big difference when you take those first steps in the morning.
If stubborn heel pain from plantar fasciitis is adversely affecting your quality of life, call Harvey Danciger, DPM. In addition to the above at-home remedies, you may stand to benefit from more advanced procedures, such as laser therapy or custom orthotics. Foot pain isn’t normal—let us help you fix it! To schedule an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office, dial 760-568-0108.