Plantar Fasciitis Treatments - What Works?

Updated on July 27, 2010
T.F. asks from Forest Hills, NY
10 answers

I have custom made orthodics that seemed to be working for a while (after I got them adjusted to make the arch higher), but now my foot is killing me again and I'm limping. I wear orthodics virtually all the time, including in my slippers at home, and I'm still in pain. I tried acupuncture/massage a few days ago, and it didn't help.

I was thinking of trying physical therapy, has anyone used that for plantar fasciitis? Anything else that works? I can't use anti-inflamatories (Advil, Aleve) because they hurt my stomach.
Thank you!

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answers from Denver on

I got them when I was training for a marathon and the only thing which helped me was stretching....a lot. Find a stair, put your toes of one foot on the edge of the stair and let your heel drop as low as you can stand it. Use you other foot to stand on the stair. After a minute or so, switch feet. You can also put all your toes on the edge of the stair and "stairmaster" the stretch very slowly with both feet at the same time while holding the banister. I did this every time I went upstairs.

I also agree with strengthening by going barefoot and especially walking on strengthens like nothing else.

GL! And hope it heels, ahem, heals soon!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree that stretching the foot first thing in the morning BEFORE you get out of bed helps. And you can keep a tennis ball in your nightstand and roll the foot on it as well.
I asked this question about a year ago and O. really good piece of advice I got was the arch support bandages that they sell with the foot stuff. They're like 3.99 ea and its an ace bandage loop pf elastic that you wear over your arch. It did help me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Orthodics and specialized shoes actually worsen your condition because they naturally weaken the muscles in your feet. That's true of all shoes, but once you add in orthodics, they prevent the muscles from naturally addressing the problem, and actually force your feet to overcompensate in other areas.
In other words, toss them.

Go barefoot.
Every regular doctor will tell you it's the worst thing you can do.
Every chiropractor will cheer you on.

I had this years ago and did a lot of research. I started doing everything, including working out, barefoot, and the problem disappeared in 2 weeks. My feet were very sore initially, as the muscles in them and my ankles started working as they should be naturally. They hadn't been used in quite some time. Once the strenght comes back (very quickly) you'll notice the plantar issue disappearing.

Physical therapy will itroduce a lot of stretching, but at the end of the day, you're going to have the same problem if you go back to trying to fix the problem with shoes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Physical therapy can work, the whirlpool and ultrasound heat therapy work temporarily, Steroid injections do more damage than good, and I found that the insoles the ortho doc gave me made my feet hurt even more when I took my shoes off... and I like being barefootaround the house. Ultimatly I just stopped trying anything, but the pain is horrible... mostly I just get my hubby to rub them when they are sore.

Good Luck



answers from Detroit on

l have had it for over a year now. I got a brace that was covered by my insurance that I wear at night that seems to make it a lot better when I wear it. My husband massages my foot with Arbonne's 5 in 1 massage oil (I am a consultant) and our Renewing Body Gelee' both help soothe and draw out the toxins ( helps with the swelling etc. and inflammation the Gelee' is great for sports related injury). A lady at WW told me about some inserts to put in your shoes they fit in yours shoes at the toe area and she swears by them I will have to find the package to let you know the name. There are a lot of exercises listed on line that help also just google it. My Doctor told me to never go without shoes unless I was in the shower or bed, and when I do that I can really feel that it helps. I can't take anti inflammatory meds either. Mine hurts all the way up the inside of my leg especially near the groin area up to my stomach some days have you noticed that too? I hope you feel better I feel for you but hang in there it does heal over time if we do what we are suppose to do that is. I certainly don't want steroid injections or surgery.
Good Luck.



answers from New York on

Did you get the cortizone shots? My podiatrist suggested this. Only 1-2 treatments and it really helped. Not as painful as I thought. It is not a cure, but it will relax the muscle enough that you can begin a stretching routine or physical therapy.



answers from Dallas on

Orthodics never helped me. I know they have newer and better ones, but they don't come from podiatrists. A podiatrist was respondible for telling my husband to take Advil daily forever (ridiculous) and he got GERD forever.

When I was at physical therapy for something else, I saw people rolling their foot over a ball to stretch their arch muscles and strengthen them. They said that was for planter fasciitis treatments.

I usually only had it in the morning when I got out of bed. I had carpeting. When I remodeled, we had tile. The cold tile on my feet was such a relief! I always felt that that helped me immensely and I don't have that anymore. Course, I also was chided into wearing better fitting shoes that don't put pressure on the balls of my feet and my heel at the same time. No more issues.



answers from Minneapolis on

My mom has been dealing with this for over a year . . . some days it is so bad she can barely walk at all, let alone run (her hobby was running marathons before this happened). She has literally tried EVERYTHING - homeopathic remedies, injections, braces, physical therapy, sports massage, chiropractors, medical doctors, exercises, MRI, acupuncture, acupressure, you name it, she has done it. Right now, she is doing a regimen of laser treatments combined with chiropractic care - she has had 6 sessions and still no relief. If this doesn't work, she will have to have surgery.

She says that if she had to do it all over again, she would have had her foot casted (it is too late now) to see if that would have worked.

Good luck - I know that I wasn't much help, but maybe you can try some of the things she tried to see if they will work for you.



answers from Chicago on

Stretch and see a chiropractor.



answers from Washington DC on

Are you wearing something in your shoe? I have plantar fasciitis and the pain can be terrible! I use a brace at night. It keeps my foot in the flexed position all night and I feel amazing in the morning. I think you can just buy the brace online. I got mine from my mother. Good luck!

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