Plantar fasciitis is treated using pain relievers, physical therapy, orthotics and night splints, Mayo Clinic states. Treatments vary between patients, and some may also need surgical procedures, plus home-based therapies.
Patients may take medications like Ibuprofen, to manage the inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis, states Mayo Clinic. In addition, physiotherapists teach exercises that strengthen the leg muscles, giving more support to the plantar region. These exercises may also strengthen the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. In some cases, night splints are available to strengthen the muscles in the area while the patient sleeps. Orthotics designed to sit in the shoe and support the muscles can encourage the patient to distribute weight more evenly, according to Mayo Clinic.
In particularly severe cases, patients may need to take steroid shots. They provide immediate pain relief, but also weaken the area, making them counterproductive, states Mayo Clinic. Shock wave therapy is sometimes available, although there is no clinical evidence supporting its use. In very extreme cases, surgery detaches the plantar from the bone, although this is usually a last resort measure.
Patients can adjust their lifestyle to promote the healing process. This includes having a healthy weight to minimize stress on the muscles and wearing supportive shoes rather than heels, according to the University Health Services of Wisconsin-Madison. People who run often should replace their shoes when they begin to wear down, to ensure they are getting enough support. Home stretches and applying ice to the area for a few minutes can also provide relief.