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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

I have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. My doctor has taped my foot and told me to take ibuprofen but the pain isn’t going away. What is a better treatment?

heel pain

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Featured Answer

1 UpVoted this answer
With few exceptions, such as certain type of arthritis, such as rheumatoid, the problem is due to the way you walk (ambulate). This is changed by a physician that is sports medicine oriented, and is EXCELLENT at taping. After you feel better from this, well casted and constructed orthotics should take care of it. Adjunctive treatment, such as shock wave, platelet gel and/or corticosteroid injection will decrease pain, but do not help the underlying problem. One must do both simultaneously. Surgery is great, but very rarely necessary in the hands of a reputable doctor.
1 UpVoted this answer
There are MANY ways to treat plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately, there is no ONE best treatment. Steroid injections often give lasting relief, but there are cases where even that does not work. Orthotic devices usually help, but the fact that taping did not help tells me that orthotic devices may not help either. Physical therapy and night splints help in some cases, as well as stretching exercises, but lasting relief with these is often less than with injections and/or anti-inflammatory drugs, Ibuprofen is ok, but there are some anti-inflammatory medications that do better. Finally, if all else fails, surgery is an option. Cutting the tight fascia seems to work best when none of the traditional conservative measures help. There are also some "alternative" treatments, such as PRP - an injection of your own blood platelets - that help when steroid injections and other medications do not.
Richard Eby This works every time.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition. You should begin a stretching routine at home, ice or heat may help too. I prefer the EPAT treatment for this which does not involve injections! Good luck.
Corinne Kauderer
Rest it completely....use crutches with no weight to the heel for 2 weeks and continue ur ibuprofen....
Vern M. Chuba
There are a number of treatments. Cortisone injections, streaming with night splints, 1/2 " heeled shoes , orthotic. If all fail then MR I to rule out facial tear.
Jay D. Helman
I would recommend physical therapy orthotics stretching exercises this is not of help I knew her treatment methods consisting of PRP injections and ESWT are quite helpful and are nonsurgical
Plantar fasciitis requires ongoing treatment and there are many, many different treatments. Not every treatment works for every patient, additional treatments might include; steroid injections, physical therapy, platelet gel injection, night splints and most important orthotics. The strapping you had simulates what an orthotic does. If the structural instability of the foot is not addressed then the problem may continue. Orthotics address the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms. A podiatrist can do a full biomechanical examination and prescribe an orthotic (custom arch support) based on your specific foot structure.
Plantar fasciitis generally refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the long ligament that helps support the arch of the foot much like a string on a bow. In many cases, there is thickening of the ligament due to development of scar tissue within the ligament itself from chronic inflammation and microscopic tears of the fibers of the ligament. Treatment is generally a combination of chemical and mechanical treatment. Chemical treatments may include anti-inflammatory pills (e.g. ibuprofen) or injections of cortisone or similar steroid medications. Mechanical treatments may include arch supports, stretching, special braces called night splints, custom-made supports called orthotics, physical therapy, or immobilization. I typically approach this problem in a step-wise manner, gradually progressing up the staircase of treatment as needed based on progress. Surgery is rarely indicated. Orthotripsy, which is a high-energy ultrasound treatment that has been proven to be effective in cases that do not respond to initial treatments. This has to be given under local anesthesia and possibly sedation as well.

To determine the most effective plan of treatment, evaluate success vs. failure of treatments, an appropriate thorough exam by a podiatrist is indicated. There generally is no "magic bullet" that will provide immediate relief so carefully following the podiatrist's recommendations including timing of follow-up visits is essential to determine the most effective treatment plan and modify this as needed based on progress.
The first thing is to make certain plantar fasciitis is the correct diagnosis. Diagnostic ultrasound is a test performed in the office that can easily determine that you indeed have plantar fasciitis and can also diagnose stress fractures and torn ligaments. You also should rule out a nerve entrapment. Most plantar fasciitis cases respond well to conservative therapy. Stretching the muscles of the foot as well as the calf muscle are important. The foot needs to be supported when weight bearing - no barefoot walking. An insole in the shoe can be beneficial as well. Anti-inflammatory medicine, steroid injections and physical therapy can be very helpful. As you can see, there are many treatment options available. You need good communication with your doctor to determine what approach is best for you, especially if previous treatments are not successful. Surgery is a last alternative but has a very good success rate for the minority of people who need to go that route.
Seth Steber