Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
So you have plantar fasciitis. Should you use a drugstore product to cure it? Or should you see a doctor?
At first, you must understand plantar fasciitis refers to the heel pain that is caused by the inflammation of the ligament-like structure (running from the heel to the ball of the foot) called plantar fascia. It can affect you if too much pressure or strain is applied on your plantar fascia.
Generally, plantar fasciitis will cause pain under the heel when you get out of bed in the mornings. As such, this pain will ease out when you walk around. If you happen to rise after sitting for a longer duration or move after standing for a longer time, the pain will start to increase.
Plantar fasciitis will usually go away on its own. But, it can take as long as 6 weeks to 12 months to get completely cured, depending on the patient. Should you bear all the pain caused by plantar fasciitis for a up to 12 months?
We would say that it’s a wrong notion that as plantar fasciitis would go off on its own, we don’t need to do anything about it. You don’t have to bear all the pain until it goes away. Rather, a proper diagnosis, followed by home remedies, medications, and therapies can help get rid of the condition quite easily. 
Home Treatment Tips for Plantar Fasciitis
Some simple home treatments can help resolve plantar fasciitis, more particularly, if you can catch it at an early stage. On the other hand, it can take a long time to heal if the condition has worsened. Now, try the following home treatment tips to treat your plantar fasciitis by your own:
As mentioned above, one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis is the overuse of the plantar fascia. People who are involved in a job that requires standing or walking on feet for long hours are highly prone to this condition. Examples include nurses, teachers, factory workers, and so on. If you think overuse is the reason behind your heel pain, rest is the key to getting rid of it.
While resting is the key to recovery, it will be even better when you can combine it with some stretching exercises. Try the following stretching exercise now:
Start by sitting in a chair with your non-painful foot on the ground and the ankle of your painful foot on your knee. Now, slowly pull your toes on the painful foot back until you can feel a stretch in your sole. Simultaneously, gently massage the plantar fascia that is stretched using your other hand. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and restore.
Night Splints and Stretching Socks
We recommend using night splints and stretching socks that stretch your foot and ankle in the right position while you sleep. This could hold your plantar fascia and Achilles’ tendon in a stretched position overnight, thereby facilitating stretching.
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You can roll the painful foot over a frozen water bottle at least for five minutes. You can also wear a plantar fasciitis hot and cold compression sock to help recover. Alternately, you can keep an ice pack underneath your foot for 15 minutes. Do these three times per day.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you must use shoes that come with soft, compressible heels and soles whenever you want to walk on harder surfaces. Make sure you are getting a good fit. Avoid shoes that do not provide enough support. If these shoes are able to provide only a partial support, try getting orthopedic shoes with extra soles and heel supports. These can’t be fashionable, but are worth-using until your plantar fasciitis is cured.
If your pain continues, it’s time to see a doctor…
If all the above-mentioned home treatment tips are not working, it’s time to get some help. Talk to your doctor and get your condition properly diagnosed. For proper diagnosis, he/she may order for an X-ray or MRI to help eliminate the other possible causes of pain. 
After confirming the diagnosis, there are a few options your physician could try to ease out the pain and decrease inflammation in the foot. They are:
Pain relieving drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can alleviate the pain and inflammation that are caused by your plantar fasciitis. Your physician may prescribe multiple doses of these drugs a day for several weeks.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy if medications, rest, and/or ice therapies don’t work. A physical therapist can educate you a group of exercises to stretch your plantar fascia, as well as Achilles’ tendon, thereby allowing the strengthening of lower leg muscles, which will help stabilize your heel and ankle. The physical therapist may also teach you to put athletic tapping to support the bottom of the foot.
If the pain is so severe that it doesn’t respond to any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you will want a steroid injection. Your doctor will administer a steroid directly into the area of your plantar fascia. This will help ease out your pain for up to a month when at the same time keeping the inflammation down for a longer period.
Advanced Treatment Options
There are some advanced treatment options for plantar fasciitis that gets worse or that does not respond to the above conservative treatments. The most popular options are as follows:
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
In this treatment, your plantar fascia will be shocked using sound waves. This procedure will help stimulate the blood circulation in the foot and help the tissues to heal. This will also help stop the pain by stunning your nerves.
This is a less invasive method during which a small incision will be made and an ultrasound will be used to remove the scar tissues. This method will work by vibrating and stimulating your tissues and cells. This treatment procedure will allow you to go back to your daily routines in just 10 days.
Surgery is usually the last resort for plantar fasciitis and it will involve taking off your plantar fascia from the heel bone. Surgery will be prescribed only if you have severe pain or an injury that can’t be resolved by other treatments.