Plantar Fasciitis Treatments
It is important to understand your plantar fasciitis condition. In knowing that all your efforts in dealing with pain relief and healing your fascia will help you overcome the condition.
Conservative treatments such as cold compression, blood flow stimulation therapy, plantar massage and calf muscle stretching tend to be the best way to treat plantar fasciitis. However, it can take months to years to heal depending on your situation and commitment to treatment (6 weeks to 6 months or longer). To improve healing time and treat your pain naturally, cold compression therapy, Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ and Therapeutic Ultrasound are recommended.
More than 90% of people with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting a nonsurgical simple treatment methods. (source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
What do I do first?
A slight change to your exercise routine to take the pressure off our foot. Taking a brake from activities that involves repeated, impact of your heel on a hard surface such as jumping, walking on hard surfaces or treadmills. Instead add in exercises biking or swimming less impact to your fascia. It is suggested that you start at 50% of what you would normally do, and increase gradually as you see improvement in your condition.
Taping your feet will also add support and relieve stress during activity. Plantar fasciitis accounts for 10% of runner-related injuries and US doctors see 200,000 cases of this condition per year. Therefore, wearing appropriate shoes with enough arch support and motion control will help protect your feet. Avoid flat shoes and/or walking barefoot whenever possible.
Strengthening exercises such as picking up small items with your toes, doing toe taps or towel curls that focus on the muscles of your foot will help to increase your power and relieve muscle imbalances in your foot.
Cold Compression Therapy
When you are experiencing pain, swelling, and inflammation in the bottom of your foot, doctors recommend cold compression therapy. Cold compression therapy reduces tissue damage caused by swelling and inflammation and treats your foot pain quickly.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the damaged area. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the plantar fascia and tissue cells begin to break-down.
The Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way and the deep cold provided by the Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. The cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain!
The cooling gel pack inside every Freezie Wrap® have been designed with ColdCure Technology®. The specially formulated gel allows the pack to be supercharged in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs. The Freezie Wrap® gives you deep cold compression therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn to the layers of your skin. This unique technology, inside a soft and completely adjustable neoprene wrap, gives you comfortable, convenient, and effective cold compression therapy. The specially designed foot wrap has an adjustable compression band so you can control the amount of pressure that feels good around your foot.Click here to learn more about ColdCure Technology®
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once inflammation and swelling have been reduced in your plantar fascia, nourishing and strengthening the tissue in your foot is the goal. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) promotes blood flow to the treatment area bringing the necessary oxygen and nutrients to your plantar fascia and other weakened tissue. BFST® speeds up the body's natural repair process for faster healing and stronger tissue.
Extremities of the body, like the foot, do not receive much blood flow naturally and when you stop moving your foot because it hurts, you are not creating the natural blood flow it usually receives. With the use of Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ you can increase your body's blood supply to the plantar fascia.
In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins (including lactic acid, commonly found in trigger points) that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and better prepared for healing. Our Plantar/Spur Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief with no side effects.
Keeping your plantar fascia and foot as healthy and strong as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to get back to your regular activities faster. The Plantar/Spur Inferno Wrap®, available exclusively from MendMeShop®, provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
The benefits of BFST® do not end once your foot pain stops! Even when your plantar fascia has healed, your activities can put it at risk of an overuse injury, tightness, or another tear. An Inferno Wrap® treatment before activity is an easy way to warm up the tissues and prepare them for use. Then, end your day with another treatment to prevent tightness from setting in overnight. This incredible healing tool will be the ticket to healthy feet for years to come! Click here to learn more about BFST®
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your foot until your pain and inflammation settle.
Stretching to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain
Stretching will help to alleviate tightness in your foot, lower leg and hamstring muscles.
The calf muscles are made up of several muscles which serve to plantar flex the foot. These include the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris muscles. When these muscles are tight they can cause you to develop plantar fasciitis. Stretching of these muscles can reduce the symptoms. Consult your doctor to discuss which stretches work best for you.
There are several techniques which include:
- A lunge with one foot while leaving the heel of the other foot planted on the ground. Leaning into the lunge will stretch the calf muscle of the back leg. Do not bounce as you stretch as this may cause tendon damage. A nice, steady stretch held for 30-60 seconds will give you the desired results. You should stretch both legs even if only one side is bothering you. This should be repeated several times per day.
- A very simple stretch to get started can be done by standing with the feet at shoulder width. Go into a full squat with your knees bent all of the way. While in this full squatting position your can lean forward and you should feel the stretch in your calf muscles and your feet. You may support yourself with your hands if you feel like you are having trouble keeping your balance. Throughout the stretch you should push your heels toward the ground as you lean forward. This is a good stretch of your soleus muscle.
- Another stretch that will help starts with you putting your toes on a step and your heel on the floor below. Lean into this foot and you will feel a stretch in your calf muscles and foot. This stretch primarily focuses on the gastrocnemius muscle when you keep the knee straight.
- You may also consider stretching the gluteal muscles and hamstrings. This is because they, along with the calf muscles share the same fascial plane and kinetic chain. Releasing tension in these muscles and the fascia that surrounds them through stretching, will take tension off of the plantar fascia as well.
- One of the most important times to stretch is in the morning. People with plantar fasciitis know that this is the most painful time. The reason is that the feet naturally plantar flex when we lay down to sleep. Over eight hours of plantar flexion the plantar fascia becomes taut again. This makes the first steps of morning particularly painful. Stretching before these first steps has been shown to alleviate this problem in 72% of people.(1)
- Consistent stretching of the posterior leg muscles including the calf muscles, gluteal muscles and hamstrings can be very beneficial. That is why it is one of the treatments of choice for therapists, doctors and athletic trainers.
Scar tissue is a major contributor to chronic plantar fasciitis. When your plantar fascia begins to heal (initially and after every re-tearing of the fascia as your step down in the morning) scar tissue naturally builds up in the fascia fibers. At this stage, using therapeutic ultrasound will soften scar tissue as your body heals as well as breaking down any scar tissue that may have already formed.
Scar tissue develops once acute inflammation begins to decrease. As your damaged plantar fascia heals this dead, fibrotic tissue will develop instead of forming brand new healthy tissue.
This tissue makes the fascia inflexible and adheres to surrounding tissue causing pain and preventing your foot from moving properly (this limits your range of motion and strength). With less scar tissue, the normal elasticity in the plantar fascia will return making it healthier, more flexible, and less prone to re-injury. In addition, less scar tissue build up means less foot pain. Ultrasound can also administer therapeutic medicines deep into the body through a process called phonophoresis.
For those who suffer from other conditions such as heel spurs or tendinitis, ultrasound can help. With dedication to your ultrasound therapy you can soften the tough and inelastic scar tissue and reduce inflammation.
If you are also experiencing pain in other parts of your body, your plantar pain may be the cause. Plantar fasciitis can lead to other overuse injuries if left untreated. The pain can cause you to re-adjust your posture and change your gait to take weight off your sore foot. This can cause excess strain in your back, knees, hips, and ankles. The Mendix™ Ultrasound System can be used to treat all of your strains and tears, as well as other painful conditions like bursitis, tendinitis, and joint pain. It is a great tool to have on hand for so many soft tissue injuries!
Click here to learn more about Ultrasound Therapy
Enhance Your Ultrasound Treatments With Phonophoresis
When using an ultrasound unit, proper conductive ultrasound gel is required. Without it, the sound waves will not transfer into the tissue making the treatment ineffective. Although you will receive all the benefits of ultrasound therapy with standard ultrasound gel, medicated ultrasound gel can multiply the benefits without any extra time or effort. All you have to do is use medicated gel instead of standard ultrasound gel during your treatments.
Here's how it works! The sound waves carry the medicinal molecules found inside the gel deep into your tissue. This process is known as phonophoresis and it increases the healing power of therapeutic ultrasound.
Our exclusive MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Gel is specially formulated with Natural Bulgarian Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Menthol. These ingredients have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and relax tissue to speed healing. Now they are available in this incredible ultrasound gel to give you 2 therapies in 1 treatment. You get the benefit of the regenerating sound waves from the ultrasound device itself AND the added bonus of the therapeutic ingredients inside the gel being delivered straight to your plantar fascia where it is most effective to reduce your foot pain and speed healing. And that's not all - our Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel is free of the potentially harmful ingredients of paraben, DEA, or dyes.
1 FREE bottle of MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel comes with every Mendix™ Ultrasound System. If you have skin sensitivities or are sensitive to scents, you have the option of using our Non-Fragrant Ultrasound Gel with your Mendix™ Ultrasound System. Just like our Lavender Infusion Gel, it does not contain paraben, DEA, or dyes!
With easy therapies, such a Freezie Wrap®, Inferno Wrap®, ultrasound you will notice great improvement within a few weeks, with most patients seeing some improvement quickly. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results. If you start using your plantar fascia before it has a chance to heal properly (even though it may feel better), you can end up doing a lot more damage than good!