The recurring stabbing heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis can make it hard to walk, stand, or get your daily workout logged. Surgery 一 either a fasciotomy or a fasciectomy 一 can help eliminate your pain by cutting your fascia to relieve some of the tension.
While surgery may be the right path (especially if you’ve had chronic pain for months), it’s not always the first line of defense.
Our team of expert podiatrists here at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, prioritizes nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis when appropriate. Here’s what you need to know.
Treating plantar fasciitis without surgery
Plantar fasciitis happens when the fascia on the bottom of your foot is irritated or inflamed. It can develop due to the anatomy of your feet and how your arches are constructed, but it can also develop from overuse, obesity, or standing on your feet all day. With this in mind, some common nonsurgical treatments include:
Anything that puts too much pressure on your plantar fascia can make your symptoms worse. When you’re treating plantar fasciitis, it’s important to:
- Avoid walking barefoot (it can put too much strain on your fascia)
- Wear shoes designed to support your arches
- Limit activities that put too much stress on your feet (at least temporarily)
- Alternate positions (if you stand all day, try sitting on a stool occasionally to take some pressure off your feet)
Also, always stretch your feet before and after any workout.
Wear orthotic devices and splints
During the day, you may find that wearing custom orthotics is enough to alleviate your symptoms. Orthotics are prescription, medical-grade inserts you wear inside your shoes throughout the day to help distribute your weight evenly across your feet.
Night splints, on the other hand, help your feet while you sleep. Night splints hold your feet in a gentle stretch throughout the night. This helps to alleviate some of your pain in the morning.
Cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation in your body, and your feet are no exception. If your feet are swollen and tender, try placing a cold compress against your feet.
You can also freeze a water bottle and roll your feet over the frozen bottle. The cold is soothing, but it also gives your feet a good stretch. Win-win!
Corticosteroid injections 一 often just called steroid injections 一 provide relief for pain as well as inflammation. The injection contains a local anesthetic to assist with pain relief, while the steroid helps reduce inflammation.
Over-the-counter pain medication can help you manage your pain. It won’t treat plantar fasciitis, but it can help reduce pain and inflammation so you can focus your attention on other at-home treatments.
Extracorporeal shock wave treatment — often simply called shockwave therapy — is an FDA-approved, nonsurgical treatment that uses high-intensity sound waves to stimulate healing and treat plantar fasciitis. Here at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, we offer shockwave therapy with either OssaTron® made by Healthtronics or the EPOS Ultra device made by Dornier.
MLS laser therapy
While shockwave therapy uses sound waves to treat plantar fasciitis, MLS uses light energy. When the light energy hits your tissue, it helps to reduce pain, accelerate tissue repair and growth, and reduce inflammation. We also offer MLS therapy in both of our New York offices.
When to consider surgery
Plantar fasciitis can be treated without surgery. That being said, if you’ve tried nonsurgical treatments without any relief, surgery may be a prudent choice for you. You won’t ever have to make this decision on your own, though.
Our team is here to guide you through your plantar fasciitis treatment journey, whether you’re using nonsurgical options or not. If you do need surgery, our team of podiatric surgeons utilizes cutting-edge surgical techniques, including minimally invasive techniques.
Don’t let plantar fasciitis keep you off your feet. Call our location of your choice today and start exploring your treatment options. You can also book an appointment online.