One of the most common causes of foot and heel pain is called plantar fasciitis. The pain is caused by inflammation of the tissue (plantar fascia) that are at the bottom of the foot and connect the heal bone to the toes. For most people the pain is worse when they start walking.
As with most health conditions the entire person must be addressed to properly treat the foot pain. For most people treatment should begin with a conservative approach. There should be an attempt to relieve the pain, alter or change the type of shoes worn, and exercise therapy.
Here are some tips that may help your foot pain:
- Icing your foot may help provide pain relief. Just remember not to leave the ice on for too long. I typically recommend removing the ice pack after 10 minutes.
- Resting your foot may also provide some relief.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as over-the-counter ibuprofen, can help reduce the inflammation and therefore help reduce pain. These medications should not be used long term unless you are under medical supervision.
- Heel inserts that you can find at most pharmacies and stores can also help reduce the pain.
- Stretching exercises can also help reduce the pain and help prevent future episodes. Home exercises include plantar and calf-plantar fascia stretches, foot-ankle circles, toe curls, toe towel curls, and unilateral heel raises with toe dorsiflexion.
- Wearing a supportive house shoe or sandal may help if going barefoot increases the pain.
- Tape support of the foot may help relieve the pain, particularly for first-step pain. The tape should not be applied too tightly, and use of hypoallergenic tape is recommended.
- Rolling a frozen water bottle under your foot. Remember to only use the ice for a maximum of ten minutes. You can also use a rolling pin or golf ball.
Of course, I have to mention that Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) can also help people suffering with foot pain. This is something that I would be happy to do for you in the office!
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