At the mention of plantar fasciitis, you may think of the excruciating heel pain that the condition is notorious for causing. However, cases of plantar fasciitis that are severe or left untreated can also cause pain in the ankles. The plantar fascia (the structural band of tissue that runs through the sole of the foot) plays a role in moving both the foot and the ankle; it helps absorb shock and support the body. However, this tissue can tear, resulting in the condition known as plantar fasciitis. If plantar fasciitis is causing your ankle pain, check out some of the most effective ways you can manage this condition.
1. Reduce Your Activity Level Until the Pain Subsides
A period of rest is necessary for the inflammation in the plantar fascia to subside; this gives the tears a chance to heal. Avoid long periods of running or walking. If you must maintain some type of activity, your doctor can give you a steroid injection in your plantar fascia.
Though steroid injections should be used sparingly, they can help alleviate pain so that you can continue to work or participate in your normal daily activities.
2. Rethink Your Footwear
You need to outfit your closet with footwear that is conducive to the healing of your plantar fascia. Shoes that are designed for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis have more arch support than typical shoes. The extra arch support distributes the weight more evenly across the foot so that the plantar fascia may heal.
If you like the aesthetics of your current shoes, one option is to outfit your shoes with custom orthopedic inserts. These inserts function the same as shoes intended to relieve plantar fasciitis pain.
When selecting a shoe or insert, make sure that the arch support has some type of cushion. If the support is too rigid, this can increase the pressure and inflammation of your plantar fascia.
3. Attend Physical Therapy
If you can strengthen your leg muscles, this will help you better stabilize your foot and ankle. Physical therapy sessions involve stretches that help lengthen the plantar fascia and relieve feelings of discomfort. Stretching is extremely important if you maintain an active lifestyle, as it alleviates tightness that increases the chance of tearing your plantar fascia.
4. Reach a Healthy Weight
It is important to take steps to reach a healthy weight; weighing more than the recommended amount puts additional stress and pressure on the feet and ankles, contributing to inflammation. Excessive pressure on the plantar fascia can also cause the tears that cause your pain.
For more information about ways to treat your ankle pain or plantar fasciitis, contact a professional medical center near you, such as Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois.