According to some surveys, almost 90% of plantar fasciitis cases can be treated with conservative self-care or at-home therapy. However, if you fall under the 10% of individuals who do not respond well to these remedies, it is easy to feel frustrated and even discouraged.
It is essential to understand that every person is different. If you have run out of options for conservative treatments and the lifestyle changes haven’t helped so much—then it’s probably time to discuss this with your podiatrist and consider advanced medical options.
When should you opt for professional advice? What are the exact options that can work for you if your plantar fasciitis persisted? We will discuss some possibilities and even help you understand why your home treatments might not be working. Either way, the good news is there are some simple treatments you can discuss with your doctor for stubborn plantar fasciitis.
The Case Of Plantar Fasciitis That Won’t Go Away
Interestingly, a muscle and connective tissue problem like that of plantar fasciitis can stick around for almost whole years for some people. While some people are guilty of not religiously taking care of their feet, others have tried everything, and still, nothing has worked.
Some doctors have mapped out conditions that are myofascial in their nature. There are two specific muscles in your lower leg that have areas that can trigger arch and heel pain. These muscles are known as gastrocnemius and soleus. People who get hyperirritability in their feet may have trigger points in these muscles. Although for many people, these trigger points are not active, which means they are latent.
While it is common for runners and people with activities to develop a plan for fasciitis, due to latent triggers, many people with no apparent reason can also suffer from this. The fact that specific exercises or stretches can help with the Hyper irritability of these areas; however, stretching alone will not help you eliminate the pain.
How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?
As mentioned earlier, around 90% of people suffering from plantar fasciitis can successfully recover from the condition within six to seven months on average. Although half a year may seem long, it is far less than the recovery time post-surgery. If your plantar fasciitis symptoms don’t go away with over several weeks of home treatment, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis from your physical therapist or podiatrist.
When you visit a doctor, you will possibly be asked to go through a physical exam. They might take an x-ray for bone spurs and provide you with treatment options that will be appropriate for you and the severity of your condition. You might be prescribed orthotic insoles or a massager for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis sometimes does not go away with home remedies. Therefore you might want to look for aggressive measures that include steroid injections or even shock wave therapy if the pain persists. Some podiatrists might even consider surgery if you have been suffering from plantar fasciitis for more than 12 months, and no interventions have improved your symptoms.
Advanced Treatment Options for Stubborn Plantar Fasciitis
There are several advanced plantar fasciitis treatments available if you do not respond to conservative treatment at home. However, it is important to weigh down each treatment’s pros and cons to choose the best for yourself with your podiatrist. These are some of the popular advanced therapies that can be used with stubborn plantar fasciitis cases:
Ultrasound therapy involves stimulating and vibrating tissues and cells. Compared to all the other advanced treatments, it is relatively less expensive, painless, and straightforward. However, there is very little evidence of effectiveness within individuals who have suffered from plantar fasciitis. Therefore, we suggest you arm yourself with a lot of research before you choose this therapy.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Another effective way to get rid of plantar fasciitis is through ESWT, also known as shockwave therapy. However, it is a little more painful and expensive than the standard ultrasound therapy discussed above. Many studies suggest the effectiveness of treating stubborn cases with shockwave therapy; it is always important to consult your doctor and come to a The bottom line.
You may have heard of radiation therapy as a treatment for cancer. However, it is also a viable treatment for rigid plantar fasciitis cases. There are very minimal side effects in this therapy, and it doesn’t prove to be painful. It also falls in the lower range of expense.
You can consider this process to be as simple as an x-ray. A study in 2012 found that more than 80% of patients found absolute relief through the therapy, and as many as 64% of patients were pain-free for more than a year.
Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory that generates in the body naturally in response to stress. In this injection, a synthetic version of cortisone is supplied directly through the heel. As compared to other therapies, these injections have a higher success rate for short-term relief, which can go for over several weeks. However, the long-term effects are incredibly unclear yet. The cost of a single injection can range from hundred dollars to $300.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
This therapy involves taking your platelet cells and injecting them into the damaged plantar fascia. Many athletes swear by this treatment to recover from a variety of injuries. However, studies of its effectiveness are not readily available. It is also a costly injection that may cost more than $300.
How Can I Prevent Plantar Fasciitis In The Future Again?
Some people are far more susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions, which is why it is essential to take care of your feet. This can mean maintaining flexibility, losing weight, or even having a stretch routine before and after exercise.
After your symptoms go away and you return to your everyday life, there are specific ways you can prevent plantar fasciitis from developing again. Here are some tips you can use:
- Taking care of your feet: You must take good care of your feet to prevent any further occurrence of plantar fasciitis. This can include changing your shoes and switching to something that provides more comfort and stability. Along with well-fitted shoes, you can also look for custom orthotics or insoles that provide proper arch support.
- Flexibility: It does not matter if you are not a runner or an athlete. It would help if you always stretched your Achilles tendon and calves daily to maintain flexibility. You can try toe-curling, towel stretches, and a lot more.
- Healthy weight – Obesity has always been a substantial contributing factor in developing plantar fasciitis. It is essential to take measures to help you control your weight with regular exercise or a healthy diet.
- Develop an exercise routine – Even if you have a busy schedule, you must find time to exercise. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that you need proper exercise gear and a stretching routine along with this. Also, it would help if you constantly mix up your workout routine. For example, your feet will experience a lot of wear and tear initially when you start running, so it’s always wise to add a couple of days of swimming or biking to let your feet settle with activity.
Do not feel discouraged if your plantar fasciitis hasn’t entirely gone yet, or has worsened. It is essential to understand why your condition has stuck by for more than a year and consult with your physical therapist or podiatrist further.
You may be suggested with various kinds of advanced treatments that may involve steroids, synthetic hormones, and ever surgery. It is always advisable to have a full-length conversation with your doctor on the effectiveness and side effects of treatments before you commit.
Dr Kristine has a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and currently assists our team of shoe experts by fact-checking and confirming the information presented to the readers. As a podiatrist, she has previously worked with numerous athletes, working professionals, and high to low activity individuals on the impacts of a lifestyle on their feet. She has submitted many research papers on the role of the correct footwear in foot health and how to take adequate care of your feet.
Previously, she worked in a foot clinic attached to a hospital, before she decided to have a private practice in 2012. She has more than 15 years of experience in foot health and has been incredibly gracious in providing her expertise to the Wearsty team! Her patients have ranged from ordinary people ailing with foot problems regarding obesity, old age, and foot stress—to athletes, runners, and workers who have demanding routines.