I have received many emails of players loving Justin’s post of both what is plantar fasciitis and its prevention, so finally here is part 3 – the treatment… Keep yourself educated on your body so you can play pickleball forever!! – Jennifer Lucore
Guest Post by Justin Rodger of Arizona:
My philosophy on treating injuries includes the premise that you should exhaust every conservative tool available before proceeding to more invasive methods(i.e. injections or surgery). Basic conservative home treatments for injuries are better remembered by using all or part of the acronym PRICE. Let’s apply it to plantar fasciitis.
P is for Protect the Injury.
There are splints available that can be placed on the foot at night to help keep the ligament in a lengthened position. This will prevent the ligament from becoming tight overnight.
R is for Rest the Injury.
Taking time off from the activities that stress the foot the most can help the damaged tissue to heal. The amount of rest time will vary from person to person. Mildly damaged tissue usually take a couple of weeks to heal. Moderately/severely damaged tissue can take several months to heal.
I is for Ice the Injury.
Icing is most effective after activity/exercise and at the end of the day. Rolling the bottom of your foot on a frozen bottle of water for 5-10 minutes works best. If you would rather rest your foot on an ice pack, then apply for 20-30 minutes with a thin barrier(pillowcase or thin kitchen towel) over it. If it does not feel very cold, then the treatment is not as effective. On a side note, heating(warm water or heating pad) a stiff and sore foot first thing in the morning is preferred over ice, to help loosen up the tissue.
If your foot/ankle become swollen, then compression socks/ace wrap help to reduce the swelling.
E is for Elevate the Injury.
Blood flow is improved to the foot by elevating the foot above the knee. It is not necessary to have your leg above your heart.
My over the counter drug of choice for reducing swelling/inflammation is ibuprofen, and acetaminophen for pain. Since my opinion is that it is more effective to treat the cause than the symptoms, I take more ibuprofen for injuries (as directed of course).
If conservative home treatment is not effective at ridding your plantar fasciitis, then you may need to consult a medical doctor. Your primary doctor may prescribe stronger medication, order physical therapy, or refer you to a podiatrist for further treatment needs and/or need for orthotics.