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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Surgery is rarely necessary to treat plantar fasciitis. To decrease your pain and symptoms, you may want to:
• Tape the heel and arch.
• Custom shoe inserts may be needed to support the arch and the heel.
• Increase the flexibility of the plantar fascia and calf muscles by doing
stretching exercises. Tight calf muscles increase the stress on the plantar
fascia and predispose you to plantar fasciitis.
• Stretch the calf muscle as well as the plantar fascia by standing on a step with only the front of the foot supported
on the step and the heel free. Hold onto the rail for support and then slowly lower your heels toward the lower step.
You should feel this in the calf muscle and in the plantar fascia. Hold the stretch for a count of 10, then slowly return
the heel to the level of the rest of the foot. Repeat slowly 10 times.
• Massage the plantar fascia by rolling your foot over a round tube-like object with a diameter of three to four inches.
A rolling pin works nicely for this stretch.
• Strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle that support the arch. One way to do this is to scrunch up a hand towel
with your toes or use your toes to pull a towel weighted with a food can across the floor.
• Warm up well before stretching. Cold tissues cannot stretch as effectively. After stretching, ice your heel for 20 to 30
minutes at the point of maximum tenderness to decrease any inflammation that may result from too vigorous a workout.
• Oral anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen to decrease the inflammation caused by the irritation of
the plantar fascia and decrease your symptoms so that you can stretch and increase your flexibility. In some cases, your
physician may recommend a prescription anti-inflammatory for you.
• Try a night splint. These devices, prescribed by your physician, keep the foot flexed at 90 degrees instead of the typical
relaxed foot position of toes pointed down that occurs during sleep. Wearing a splint may lessen the pain of the first step
in the morning.
• Massage the heel with a sports cream which may lessen symptoms. A variety of therapeutic treatments can also be
administered by a physical therapist.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”