Alternative Treatments Instead of Cortisone Shots for Plantar Fasciitis

Manic:  My thoughts when my new podiatrist offered me a cortisone shot for the plantar fasciitis in my foot that was giving me a good dose of heel pain!

Managed:  My doctor when he assured me that there are other treatment plans.  I visited podiatrist Dr. C. Jon Beecroft, D.P.M at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center.  Dr. Beecroft discovered that I have plantar fasciitis in one foot and heel spurs in both heels.  And the padding under the ball of my other foot has thinned out through the years, so no wonder I’ve been in foot pain. So here is what we are doing…

1.  Taped feet…kind of like a ballerina!  I go to see my doc twice a week to have my feet taped.  This is what it looks like…

The tape gives my feet the extra support they need, while taking some pressure off of my heels.  I also wear a round pad under the ball of my foot, where the fatty padding has worn thin.  Why can’t fat in the other areas of my body wear thin?!  Of course where I need the fat…the ball of my foot…well that decided to thin out!  Frustrating 40s stuff!

2.  Twice weekly ultrasound treatments that look like this…

This painless procedure stimulates the flow of blood and oxygen to the region of my heel where the plantar fascia connects, which is the area that gives me so much pain.  The ultrasound waves help to reduce the inflammation.  The treatment feels good and I’m hopeful that this will really work, so that I can avoid a cortisone shot.

3.  Ice treatment at home, which is super easy for me to do myself, as you can see in this picture…

I simply roll my feet over a frozen water bottle twice a day for about 10 minutes each.  So while I’m writing this post or watching a show with my kids, I try to remember to roll away!

4.  Gentle stretching of calf muscles. I like to do wall stretches – 10 seconds each side and then I repeat ten times. I try to do this twice a day in increments of ten.

5.  For now, I’m taking Naproxen that my podiatrist prescribed me.  It is like a stronger version of Aleve.  I don’t like taking meds, but two weeks of this regimen will help to greatly the reduce the inflammation that is causing me so much pain, so I agreed to do this.

6.  Wearing an interesting looking night sock called the Strassburg Sock.  This odd-looking contraption looks like this:

 Believe it or not, this sock is worn to bed all night and it is actually comfortable.  This device is designed to keep tension on the plantar fascia so it heals in a stretched position while I sleep.  I bought mine for $38.95 at a running store called Sole Sports that is located at Warner and McClintock.  They have several locations and sell the right kind of gear for athletic (and sore) feet.

7.  I finally bought myself the right kind of tennis shoes.  Both the Foot Solutions store, who sold me my new sneakers, and my doc recommend the Brooks line and I absolutely love my new shoes.  Talk about great support!  I pair them with my padded Experia socks and I can’t describe the difference in support and comfort.  It is truly night and day!  I also purchased my socks at Foot Solutions and I have also seen them for sale at Sports Authority.So for now, this is everything that I’m trying.  I will probably also order customized orthotics, but we haven’t done that yet.  First I’m waiting to see if this course of treatment works.

So far, I’m in week two of my treatment and my feet are definitely better, however I started speed walking again the last couple of days and I’m definitely feeling some discomfort tonight.  I will keep you all posted on my end results.  I am very happy to avoid the cortisone shots, since I don’t want the steroids in my body.

Have any of you experinced any of these painful foot issues?  Have you tried any of the treatment options that I’m currently doing over the next month or so?  Please share in the comments section!  I would love to know what worked….or didn’t work for you.

Here’s wishing you all happy and healthy feet!