No matter how bad you foot and heel pain has gotten, there’s help available. If you treat it early, you’re likely to get the best results. But even if you leave it until later, there are still ways you can reduce or eliminate your pain and get back into a normal life.
It’s important to point out that foot problems can be serious health problems, so we strongly recommend you seek advice from a health care professional anytime you experience foot pain for more than a few days. The doctor can rule out conditions that require medical treatment and recommend courses of action that will help in your unique situation.
So what works to treat plantar fasciitis? Here are some suggestions for staying comfortable at every step along the way:
Mild Heel Pain
When you experience only occasional or minor heel pain, it makes sense to take action to prevent the problem from becoming worse. Whether you’ve been to the doctor yet or not, using shoe insoles intended to treat plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and related conditions can keep you from feeling discomfort when walking, standing or working.
More importantly, however, taking quick action while the problem is still intermittent and mild means you may be able to keep it from progressing. Shoe insoles alone — perhaps along with some mild stretching — could be all you need to get your foot problems in check before they become severe enough to keep you from doing the things you enjoy.
Moderate Heel Pain
If you’re already experiencing pain in your heel that happens often, lasts a long time or doesn’t go away, you need to take action immediately. With prompt plantar fasciitis treatment, you can still avoid a permanent, lifelong problem.
In this case, you need shoe insoles, but you also need to treat your pain during the night. Since the plantar fascia can tighten at night, rigid or flexible night splints can provide some gentle nighttime stretching that keeps your feet from getting worse while you sleep. If the first step of the day is your most painful, you need night splints.
Severe Heel Pain
If you don’t take action or the actions you take don’t work, surgery may be your only option. Fortunately, surgeries are less painful and less invasive than ever. With endoscopic plantar fasciotomy, doctors can treat your heel pain problem and you can be walking in a surgical boot the same day.
Still, the procedure involves the usual risks of surgery, may not provide complete pain relief and can have side effects. That’s why it make so much more sense to treat the problem before it develops to the point where surgical intervention is recommended.
A Final Thought
People seem to think they have to live with their minor aches and pains, but minor issues often become major ones if left untreated. In the case of heel pain, there are actions you can take at every level of the problem’s development to help yourself.
With early and correct plantar fasciitis treatment, you can eliminate heel pain and enjoy an active life.