How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis at Home
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How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis at Home

Plantar fasciitis is a common problem of the foot that can have debilitating effects on the quality of life for those suffering from this condition. The band of tissue that runs underneath the foot from your heel to the forefoot, connecting your toes and your heel is called the plantar fascia and supports the natural arch of the foot. When this tissue is injured or inflamed the individual suffers from plantar fasciitis. Home treatments can often relieve the pain and heal the injury without the need to see a doctor.

Plantar fasciitis has several causes like wearing  worn out shoes, excessive pronation. overuse  in long runs and walks, excessive weight, and even high arches or tight Achilles tendons may be the cause for the injury of the plantar fascia. Individuals typically experience pain when they get out of bed or after prolonged periods of sitting. The pain usually subsides after a few step and worsens during the day with extended weight bearing.

It is very important to take care of this band of tissue as soon as an individual experiences any discomfort in the heel.  Symptoms will only worsen over time  and the time needed to heal the injury will be prolonged significantly. Staying off the foot as much as possible is only the first step in a wide array of home treatment  options. Very few individuals  have the luxury to stay off their feet as soon as symptoms appear. Realistically most people will still have to go to work, run errants, take care of the household and the family. That is the reason why treatment should start at the first sign of an injury to this tissue. Treatment may have to be administered for several days up to several weeks depending on the severity and advancement .

  A common treatment for plantar fasciitis is adding arch support to the shoes through either custom orthopedic insoles, which can be very expensive, or insole and arch supports available in big box stores and drugstores. These typically sell for around $ 50 and have to be replaced frequently. The disadvantage of insoles is the simple fact that they typically do not fit in a wide variety of shoes. This is particularly a concern for women who have to wear a more stylish shoe in a office setting for example. Sneakers are not appropriate in many work environments.

Taping your foot is one of the most effective ways to support your arch while taking the stress of the fascia so it can heal. An advantage is the fact that you can still wear your regular shoes. The tape used for this  type of treatment varies , so do taping techniques used with the various tapes. K-Tape, or kinetic tape, is available in stores carrying sporting equipment. K-Tape is available in several colors from nude to blue, black, and even pink. K-Tape is flexible and can be used for a variety of injuries. Application techniques have to be follow explicitly to get the desired effect. K-Tape has to be replaced daily as it does not adhere anymore once it gets wet. It is also a bit on the pricey side with $13 for 20 precut strips. Three strips per application are necessary to tape for plantar fasciitis with K-Tape.

Sports tape is available in sporting good stores as well. It is far cheaper, $2-3 per roll, and available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, It does not stretch like K-Tape and has to be replaced frequently as well. Taping with sports tape can eliviate the pain from plantar fasciitis significantly  as it provides support to the arch when done right. Taping techniques vary for this type of tape. 

Leukotape is commonly used for the taping of plantar fasciitis. This tape is a little more expensive but provides a better solution  long term as it can remain on the foot for up to a week. It can withstand a shower and even a swim in the pool without loosing its adhesive properties. Leukotape is reinforced and often used over a layer of protective gauze to protect the skin. The advantage to this kind of taping is the contionous benefit received for a duration of up to a week before new tape has to be applied. Leukotake also allows the individual to wear just about any shoe that is comfortable. A roll of 15 yard is available through online distributors for around $ 8. 

Other home treatments include using ice to reduce the swelling and inflamation, as well as stretching and OTC pain medications.

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