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5 Doctor Approved At Home Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

at home treatments for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be extremely painful for those who are affected by it. If you are reading this post, maybe plantar fasciitis has really impacted your daily life. In 2018, during my 2nd year of residency, I had plantar fasciitis. The pain left me close to tears at the end of my 10-12 hour work day. I knew as a podiatry resident, I knew that the go-to treatment in many foot doctor's offices are usually steroid injections. Steroids do have their place in treating plantar fasciitis, but I wanted to see if I could get rid of my plantar fasciitis without medications or injections first. I always could use them later on, if I needed to. I wanted to use at-home treatments for plantar fasciitis instead. I did just that, and after a couple of weeks, my pain was GONE.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone will respond to at-home treatments for plantar fasciitis, but I do think that it is important for people to try any and all conservative treatment options first before going to more invasive treatment options. As a doctor, I do believe that to a certain extent, the body can and does heal itself, it's just that sometimes we unknowingly get in our body's own way of doing this. So these are the at-home treatments or remedies I used to treat plantar fasciitis in myself. Note, it has been 5 years now, and the plantar fasciitis I once had has stayed away.

1. Look at the quality and age of your shoes

at home treatments plantar fasciitis

If you are currently dealing with plantar fasciitis, really take a look at your shoes. If they haven't been changed (depending on your activity level and what you use them for) in the last 6 months to a year, then they aren't doing your feet justice. Treat yourself to a new pair. Your feet will thank you for this.

Personally, when I developed plantar fasciitis, I had 1 pair of Nikes that I wore everywhere, including at work, the gym, and to run errands. This pair was several years old and had definitely seen better days. This was one factor that definitely lead to me developing plantar fasciitis.

Unfortunately, the majority of Nike's sneakers are very flimsy and are made from low-quality materials. This can increase your risk of having foot problems like plantar fasciitis over time if you are wearing them constantly.

For myself, and many foot doctors or podiatrists across the country. There are several brands of athletic shoes that we stand by for overall foot health, but especially recommend them for people dealing with foot pain like plantar fasciitis. One of those brands is New Balance. These were the brand I purchased from when I had plantar fasciitis in 2018. The exact model I purchased back then is now discontinued, but New Balance is a brand that has received the stamp of approval and acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association or the APMA. This means New Balance is a brand committed to understanding and researching the biomechanics of the foot in order to make the healthiest footwear possible.

One of my favorite shoe designs from New Balance would have to be the Fresh Foam X More v4. There is a women's and men's version This shoe also comes in several widths. It has a rocker bottom shape to the sole which is great for helping to propel you forward when walking or running. There is also more of a heel drop or cushion at the heel with this design as well, which is ideal for people dealing with plantar fasciitis. This is my biggest tip for treating plantar fasciitis at home. Sometimes just changing your shoes makes a world of difference.

Sneakers or athletic shoes are ideal to wear when dealing with plantar fasciitis due to the amount of cushion they can have. But not everyone can wear sneakers for most of the day. If you have to wear dress shoes for work, here is another blog post I wrote on the top dress shoe brands for people with plantar fasciitis:

2. Make sure you are wearing the right shoe size

This seems like a simple thing to miss, but it's actually easier than you think to not know you're wearing the wrong shoe size. I as a podiatry resident in 2018 did this as well. If you haven't been fitted for shoes in several years, it's a good idea to go to a shoe store and be fitted by a sales associate. When I came down with plantar fasciitis and decided to get fitted for new shoes, I was 1/2 a shoe size larger than I thought I was. Between my shoes being too small, and also just very flimsy, no wonder I developed plantar fasciitis. Make sure you're wearing the right shoe size.

3. Start a daily stretching regimen

at home treatments plantar fasciitis

A good foot doctor or podiatrist should tell you that 95% of people with plantar fasciitis are able to get rid of their pain without surgery. In order to do this, having a stretching regimen is key for at home treatment of plantar fasciitis. Without stretching, the plantar fasciitis pain will continue. Stretching was critical for me when I had plantar fasciitis as well.

One of the causes of plantar fasciitis is a tight posterior chain of the leg. The posterior chain of the leg includes all muscles on the back of your leg including your calf muscle and hamstring. If these muscles are too tight, this can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis and make it much harder to get rid of. I included a video below of my favorite stretches for plantar fasciitis.

The key to stretching for plantar fasciitis is stretching at least first thing in the morning. Usually with plantar fasciitis, this is when the heel pain will be at its worse. Starting your day, incorporate these stretching exercises. To stretch even more during the day, think about incorporating a yoga practice into your life. Yoga poses do a really good job of stretching all muscles, but especially those of your posterior chain. I got back into yoga again, and this was another way that I incorporated another at home treatment for plantar fasciitis.

at home treatments for plantar fasciitis

4. Use massage

Another great way to stretch your feet during your at home treatment for plantar fasciitis is by using a tennis ball. Take the ball, and while sitting, place it under your foot. Apply pressure to the tennis ball from the foot, and roll the ball back and forth on your arch and heel. This is a simple way to stretch your plantar fascia and will give you a deep massage. Try this for a couple of minutes. This exercise can also be done with a frozen plastic water bottle if you're having more pain relief. If using the frozen water bottle, only do this exercise for 10 minutes.

4. Wear inserts in your shoes

at home treatments plantar fasciitis

A good pair of inserts help to bring your foot into proper alignment, take extra pressure off of your heel, and remove excess strain from your plantar fascia when standing or walking. Inserts, especially if they have an added heel cup are great. This is because the heel cup helps with aligning your foot, and also helps to pad the heel. Shoe inserts are a great tool to use when using at home treatments for plantar fasciitis. When I had plantar fasciitis during residency, inserts were one of the tools I used to overcome it. Interested in the top brands of over-the-counter shoe inserts that foot doctors or podiatrists recommend? Click here to read my blog post on this topic:

Plantar fasciitis can really impact your day-to-day life, but it can possibly be overcome with simple changes. My at home treatments for plantar fasciitis worked for me, and I hope they work well for you too. Feel free to share this post with a friend or loved one.

Looking for a foot doctor or podiatrist in Phoenix that treats plantar fasciitis? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view available appointment slots, click the link here:

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About the author

Dr. Sondema N. Tarr, DPM - Board Certified Podiatrist

Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Tarr. I am a foot doctor and also the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona. To learn more about me, and the practice click below. 

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