You can often successfully self-treat acute plantar fasciitis at home, without expensive equipment, in very little time. I’ll give you the what and how, along with some things to watch for, in this two post series.
Why Read Part 1 (instead of skipping right to the exercises in Part 2)?
Part 1 of this series has really important information about self-care that will make a difference in what you do with Part 2, and even if you do the care in Part 2 at all.
You May Not Even Have Plantar Fasciitis
Please ensure your heel pain is actually due to plantar fasciitis before beginning this Healing Plan.
Most of the time heel pain is plantar fasciitis, but when it isn’t, this self-care might make matters worse.
One-size-fits-all solutions (the online self-help variety, friend advice, or cookie cutter physician self-treatment plans – even if they’re mine) won’t solve your heel pain if
- the solution doesn’t treat the underlying condition causing your pain
- self-care goes on too long without actually healing the underlying condition
The Two Week Test
The most common reason acute plantar fasciitis doesn’t heal (after just ignoring it) is self-treating for too long.
And the longer your heel pain continues, the less effective the self-treatment solutions and self-care products become, until nothing you do works anymore.
So, if doing this healing plan for 14 days isn’t significantly reducing your plantar fasciitis pain in your first steps in the morning or after you’ve been resting for a while, continuing self-care is not likely to work.
And the longer you try, the more chronic your fasciitis will become.
Self-Care Success: Getting After It When It’s Acute
Plantar fasciitis often happens suddenly (as opposed to a long-developing syndrome). This is part of the definition of “acute”: a sudden onset, often with severe pain.
During the acute stage, your plantar fascia is inflamed. That’s why pain can be eased with anti-inflammatory medication like Advil or Aleve. No major changes have happened to the structure of your foot during this acute stage.
Most heel pain specialists consider that someone suffering from plantar fasciitis for 2-3 months is still in an acute stage. However, some people might only remain in the acute stage for 2-3 WEEKS. So, time is of the essence.
If your plantar fasciitis is still in the acute stage, the likelihood of being able to resolve that pain is much higher than if you’ve waited several more months to do something about it.
The cause of your plantar fasciitis is a biomechanical problem; the actual alignment of your feet in relation to your knees, back, and even your neck, is out of whack. When that happens, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and you feel pain.
Plantar fasciitis, in particular, is always caused by an underlying alignment problem, even if it arises from overuse. Not everyone who overuses their feet gets plantar fasciitis, because there’s no underlying misalignment.
The misalignment in acute fasciitis may be small enough that, if you care for it well in its very earliest stages, your body could re-align.
Like having a crick in your neck that goes away by itself or with a little massage, sometimes plantar fasciitis’s mild misalignment will correct if you diligently follow an effective healing plan like the one in this post.
It May Not Stay Healed Forever …Or it Could
Healing acute plantar fasciitis doesn’t mean it won’t come back. Having plantar fasciitis to begin with means there’s some tendency to go out of alignment, and the tendency remains unless the actual underlying cause is corrected.
On the other hand, some of us are fortunate enough to have it never return.
When Acute Goes Bad: Chronic Plantar Fasciitis
After a couple months of your body trying unsuccessfully to heal, its strategy changes to try to compensate for that mis-alignment instead of heal it. As this compensation process continues, the structural changes to your foot become more and more permanent.
Because this compensation ISN’T fixing the underlying cause, plantar fasciitis pain worsens, and the permanence of the body’s compensation turns what was an acute, mild case, into a chronic, very painful case.
Chronic plantar fasciitis is MUCH more difficult to treat, and often takes much longer to resolve. The good news is that even most chronic cases can heal with the right professional care.
Catching plantar fasciitis early really is key to getting rid of your pain quickly.
So when I implore someone who’s suffering with plantar fasciitis to come see me right away, it’s because I know what could be in store for them if they do nothing, or self-treat improperly.
It would be cruel for me to do otherwise.
Effective Vs. Endless Self-Care
Self-care for plantar fasciitis isn’t rocket science. And you don’t need to alter your life to do enough self-care to make a difference.
We have busy lives, families to take care of, and work to do. You don’t need to do everything Google finds for you, which could take many hours in a day, or buy unnecessary equipment, potions and weird …stuff.
You just need to do the proven, most effective things, correctly and diligently.
So, this easy-to-do plantar fasciitis healing plan is my attempt to give you a fast, simple way to get your heel pain under control and help you help your body heal without unnecessary, endless work on your part.
K.G. Gauntt, DPM