A study of a pain-relieving injection procedure suggests that it will relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms in the short-term, but not necessarily in the long-term. While the injections may not be a viable solution for heel pain, they can alleviate symptoms in the short-term while patients implement other treatment procedures that may bring slower relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms.
The study followed 82 adults suffering from plantar fasciitis symptoms. Patients in the studied received ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections or placebo injections of saline in a randomized, double-blind study. Patients who received the injections reported to noticing less pain in the heels after 4 weeks of treatment. At 8 and 12 weeks, however, the pain reduction was no longer significant when compared to the group that received placebo injections.
The procedure itself is relatively non-invasive and painless; patients are first injected with a numbing agent before the ultrasound-guided injection is conducted. But for long-term relief, the study suggests that these injections may not be enough to alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Treating plantar fasciitis
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can be chronic and severe. Often, people suffering with plantar fasciitis will find that the pain is worst in the morning when they first awaken. Plantar fasciitis symptoms cause a very sharp, very localized pain in the heel — a continued, dull or stabbing ache. Plantar fasciitis is caused by tissue damage in the foot. The tissue becomes damaged and inflamed most often because your feet are being over-used and under-protected.
The repeated force and impact of walking, running and exercising will create this damage in your feet, particularly if your heels aren’t being supported and cushioned well enough. Pay attention to your footwear, and take care of your heels so they won’t cause you a great deal of pain. Avoid high heels that are taller than 2 inches in height. Athletic footwear often has its own built-in cushioning and support system, but you can also buy inserts and custom orthotics that will make shoes much safer for your feet.
Always stretch your muscles, several times a day, to alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms. You should stretch your calves before and after exercise, when you awaken in the morning and before you go to sleep at night. The stretching will help reduce the pain and prevent the damage that causes plantar fasciitis symptoms. Massage techniques can also be used to reduce the pain. Roll a golf ball or a full bottle of water under your feet to get a deep, soothing massage.
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