The Classics: Rest, Ice, Medication
The plantar fascia is a soft tissue. And, like any soft tissue that becomes injured, can heal better with proper rest and attention.
By resting, we don’t necessarily mean sitting on the couch all day and doing nothing. We may recommend activities that reduce impact on stress on the area. If you exercise regularly, we certainly want you to keep going and may recommend cross-training and other changes in activity to help lessen the burden on the plantar fascia.
Ice and anti-inflammatory pain relievers are often recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation. Please follow all icing and medication directions as provided, and never place a source of cold directly on your skin. Always wrap in a thin towel and never ice for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, to avoid damage to the skin.
Changes to Footwear and Environment
Where you stand and what you are wearing can have significant effects on the strain experienced by the plantar fascia.
We may recommend changing to footwear that is more supportive of your arches, or is more accommodating to your foot structure and biomechanics.
Similarly, if you find yourself standing or moving about on hard surfaces all day, we may recommend changing that if at all possible. Anti-fatigue mats placed beneath your feet at common stations can help significantly, if permitted where you work.
When more cushioning and structural support is required than footwear alone may be able to provide, we may recommend custom orthotic inserts to provide the exact dimensions your foot shape needs.
When properly prescribed, custom orthotics can help shift excess weight and force away from a strained plantar fascia, providing it a better opportunity to recover and a lower risk of it becoming injured again.