I get asked 10 times a week 'what is the best plantar fasciitis treatment', and I say the same thing every time - there is no one best treatment, like with most other orthopaedic conditions, the best treatment is a multi-faceted approach - in this case composed of stretching, massage, foot and ankle strengthening and icing.
Let me say that again but a bit louder:
The ONLY treatment for plantar fasciitis is a full and multilayered rehab program.
But that's fine. Don't worry!
The Osteo fitness collective is going to show you how to beat this stubborn condition once and for all.
And hopefully well within 6 weeks!
The first step to beating any condition like this is EDUCATION.
Understanding why your foot hurt's damm much is half the battle. So let's go!
The 10 steps to plantar fasciitis recovery
If you do each step below over 6 weeks then you are giving yourself the best chance to beat your plantar fasciitis and get back to what you love doing the most.
1. Self massage
Your need to massage the base of your foot 3 times a day for 5 minutes. Deep and slow, all along the sole of your foot, deep into the toe joints, along the arch and into the heel. Use some oil and be firm. An alternative is to use a massaging tool.
Fascia and connective tissue comes from your calf, wraps around the heel of your foot and then forms the plantar fascia. Therefore it stands to reason that stretching the calf muscles is essential for effective plantar fasciitis treatment.
For proper foot and ankle functioning and pain relief all of the other muscles around the foot and ankle need to be tension free. Use our foot and ankle stretching exercises 3 times per day to achieve this.
Restrictions around the and foot and ankle joints can compound and put unnecessary strain on the plantar fascia, keeping you foot and ankle mobile is essential for the proper biomechanical functioning of all aspects of you foot. Use our foot and ankle mobility exercises at least 3 times per day.
Ensuring that all of the structure around the foot is essential to avoid 'overloading' your plantar fascia. Use our foot and ankle strengthening exercises at least once a day over the course of the plantar fasciitis treatment.
Your foot condition is essentially an inflammatory one and ice is the best cure. Here at the Osteo fitness collective we believe that one of the best things you can do for your foot condition is to freeze a plastic bottle of water and then role it under your foot for at least 20 minutes per day. Push down hard onto it so the ice penetrates the tissues. This can be done even when sitting in the office!
If you don't want to use an ice bottle then there are other plantar fasciitis foot rollers out there.
6. Anti-inflammatory medications - NSAIDs
Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications aim to reduce inflammation which can help to reduce pain as well as actually treating the condition. We don't recommend NSAIDs lightly and you MUST consult your GP or pharmacist before taking any medication.
7. Adequate rest
It is important that you try to recognise and isolate any activity which may be causing your pain otherwise none of these plantar fasciitis treatments will work. If you've suddenly start walking to work and your foot is hurting then perhaps try and cycle. Rest is a very important part of recovery.
What you wear on your feet is just as important as any of the treatment protocols above - if you have recognised that one particular pair of shoes are giving you grief then you need to give them a rest. Perhaps it's those stilettos on Saturday night, or your beautiful new leather oxford brogues you just simply can't take off - I'm sorry but you need to ditch them. Get some shoes with adequate cushioning that you know are not causing you the problems.
9. Weight loss
Yup, its on the list I'm afraid to say. If you're carrying some excess baggage around the middle then it may have to go. All that extra weight is simply too much for your precious plantar fascia to bear. Use our workout inspiration if you're thinking about shedding a few pounds.
10. Specific PF exercises
Use specific exercises for plantar fasciitis, at least 3 times per day. These include plantar fascia stretches, mid foot strengthening and so on. Check out our recommended exercises for plantar fasciitis or take a look at the video below.
We've made this handy video to demonstrates the best exercises for beating plantar fasccitis - it includes some of the icing, stretching , mobilising and strengthening exercises listed above.
If none of that works and you've followed all the steps properly then you are one of the very few unlucky ones, but don't despair - there are still loads of plantar fasciitis treatment options.
See a therapist
A therapist like myself, or other musculoskeletal expert will invariably be able to identify and treat your condition by looking for tensions, restrictions and imbalances in the body.
We don't often recommend orthotics or insoles as we believe for true recovery and prevention strengthening the foot and ankle is far more superior. However, there is some limited evidence for their use and some people swear by them, so give them a go, why not. Just note there is no evidence to support the use of expensive custom made orthotics over the the cheaper shop bought ones.
Laser and shock-wave therapy
Again not something I use or usually recommend to my patients, but some people have reported benefit from these types of therapies.
If all of the above fails then there is always surgery - its pretty brutal though and something we would not wish on our worst enemies.