Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain medication are often used to help manage plantar fasciitis pain. These medications should only be used for a short period of time to treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, these medications will not cure the condition or the cause of your plantar fasciitis. It is important to take other steps to prevent it from continuing or from returning.
In addition, these drugs aren’t recommended for everyone or for long term use, as pain medications can cause liver damage, and NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal difficulties (such as upset stomach, diarrhea, ulcers and intestinal bleeding). They can also trigger other serious side effects, and even inhibit the body’s natural ability to heal itself. COX-2 Inhibitors (prescription NSAIDs like Celebrex, Bextra or Vioxx, block the COX-2 enzyme involved with prostaglandin production responsible for inflammation) have been linked with risks of heart attack, stroke and in some cases death.
Cortisone/steroid injections may initially help reduce inflammation and swelling of your plantar fasciitis. However they are very controversial, as they can trigger a plantar fascia tear and can decrease the thickness of your plantar fat pad (this is influenced by the severity of injury and frequency of injections). Botox injections have also been used to relieve pain and tension. Ask your doctor if any of these are options for your condition.
Some health professionals have also recommended natural supplements such as Glucosamine, MSM, Chondritin, Capsaicin, Devil’s Claw, or Yucca Leaf to help relieve pain and/or strengthen your tissues. Hyaluronic Acid (Hyalgan) injections have also had some success.
Corrective footwear, inserts, or orthotics, provide arch support and help to align your muscles and bones so they work together. These will also help keep your foot in a more comfortable position and provide relief. They can be custom made with the help of a chiropodist, podiatrist, or a chiropractor. Or, if you prefer you can purchase general heel cups, pads or donut shaped inserts to help cushion and elevate your heel transferring pressure away from your plantar fascia.
Natural Healing Therapies for Plantar Fasciitis
Conservative treatments tend to be the best way to treat plantar fasciitis. However, it can take months to years to heal depending on your situation and commitment to treatment (6 weeks to 6 months or longer). To improve healing time and treat your pain naturally, cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ are recommended.