At-Home Hacks to Manage Plantar Fasciitis

October 1, 2022

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain, mostly focused on the heel and the sole of your foot. Medical treatment can help, especially when combined with these simple home remedies.

Millions of people suffer from plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain and pain across the sole of the foot. Plantar fasciitis happens when a band of strong tissue called the plantar fascia becomes irritated and inflamed.  

While anyone can develop this painful condition, it tends to be more common with age. It also happens more often in women, people who are overweight, and people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Professional evaluation and treatment is essential for finding long-lasting relief, but there are some things you can do at home to ease your symptoms, as well. 

As leading podiatrists in Richmond, Virginia, Weston Angermeier, DPM, and Rachel Hensley, DPM, help patients at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates find effective solutions for plantar fasciitis pain, including “home remedies” that actually work. Here’s what you can do to help your feet feel better. 

Consider ice therapy

Ice is a great way to reduce inflammation in many body parts, including your feet. Place a cloth-covered ice pack on the sole of your foot and wrap a towel around your foot to hold the pack in place for 15 minutes, three times a day. Use ice therapy following physical activity or long periods of mostly sitting or standing. 

Take some anti-inflammatory medicine

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) help relieve inflammation that causes persistent pain. Try taking NSAIDs shortly before bed to allow them to work while your feet rest and recover. (If your feet usually hurt at night, taking NSAIDs at bedtime could help you sleep better, too.) 

Put your feet up

Elevating your legs can help relieve painful swelling in your feet. Using a low footstool at your desk at work can help, but you’ll get the best benefits by putting your feet up while you relax at home in the evening. Avoid repetitive, foot-intensive activities, like hiking or running, while your feet are healing. 

Do some stretches

Stretching relieves tension, promotes circulation for faster healing, and helps your feet stay strong and flexible. Try rolling a tennis ball or a golf ball under your bare foot to stretch and massage your sole at the same time. Or try the exercises listed on this website to strengthen your calves and Achilles, too. 

Choose the right shoes

Forget the flip-flops and slippers — choose shoes with good arch support to give your plantar fascia the TLC it needs to stay strong. If you’re an athlete, be sure to select shoes designed for your specific sport. 

Untuck your sheets

The long-running comedy series “Seinfeld” once devoted the better part of an episode to the “tuck-or-untuck” debate over the best way to make a bed. A podiatrist can give you a much faster answer: untuck — especially if you sleep on your back. Leaving sheets tightly tucked puts pressure on your toes all night long that can strain and irritate your plantar fascia. 

Lose weight

Dropping extra pounds isn’t as simple as untucking your sheets or as quick as investing in better footwear, but it can provide a lot of relief for your sore feet. Every extra pound you’re carrying means extra stress and strain on your feet. Losing even a few pounds can provide significant relief to your foot joints and the plantar fascia, too. 

Medical treatment for plantar fasciitis

While home remedies can certainly help relieve plantar fascia discomfort, most people find they get the best results when they combine home care with medical treatments specifically designed for plantar fasciitis inflammation. At Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, we offer a variety of treatment options, including:

In severe cases where these options don’t provide meaningful symptom relief, we may recommend minimally invasive surgery to reposition the plantar fascia or to remove bony heel spurs that could be worsening your pain. 

Are you ready to finally put an end to plantar fascia pain? We can help. Call 804-358-9031 today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule a visit with the team at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates any time.