Treatment for Painful Soles

Treatment for Painful Soles

Last update: 15 June, 2015

Painful soles are no laughing matter. You rely on your feet to get you from one place to another – and when they’re hurting, you need reliable treatment. Plantar fasciitis, a pain that affects the lower heel, can be caused by excessive pressure. This can lead to intense pain and loss of flexibility in the feet.

Common causes of painful soles

Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for the pain felt in the soles of the feet. Its primary causes are:

  • obesity or excess weight
  • pregnancy
  • standing for long periods of time (at work, for instance)
  • ill-fitting footwear
  • flat feet or high arches.

Typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis

It’s generally quite easy to spot the symptoms caused by this condition. Take note if you’re experiencing:

  • sharp pains in the foot
  • burning sensations beneath the heel (or in the entire area)
  • stiffness or a distinct lack of flexibility.

Bear in mind that it’s generally a problem that will affect only one foot. In some rare instances, you may have it in both.

Mornings are often when your foot will feel most painful. Of course, that’s because you’re bearing weight on it following a long period of rest. It’s also true that you might feel it acutely after a day filled with a lot of exercise or general physical activity that has had you on your feet most of the time.

Treat the soles of your feet

The main objective of the treatment that we’re going to outline below is to reduce the inflammation that leads to plantar fasciitis.

Try home remedies first

Bare feet

One of the most therapeutic things you can do for your feet is to go barefoot for as long as possible. Walk outside, on grass, if you can. Combine that with the application of ice throughout the day (4 times daily if you can manage it) for 20 minutes each time. This is hugely helpful for reducing the inflammation that causes foot pain.

Invest in some support inserts for your shoes. Ensure that they’ll provide ample support for your arches. You’d be surprised how effective this is in soothing aching feet.

Set aside at least 20 minutes each day for stretching exercises. Make it a healthy habit. They’re easy enough to do whilst you’re reading, watching television or scrolling through your Facebook feed.

If there are days when the pain seems to really be impeding your ability to get on with things, take anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. They will provide relief. Don’t go overboard, though – and try not to rely on them.

You might need to seek medical treatment

If you find yourself reaching too often for the anti-inflammatory drugs only to find that they’re not providing the relief that they once were, you might want to consider an injection of corticosteroid. The steroids are injected straight into the heel or the arch of your foot. Then, a harmless electrical current is administered to encourage the steroid to penetrate the skin and the muscle.

Your GP might also advise physical therapy in order to stretch the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendons. Exercises to strengthen the inferior leg muscles will likely form a part of the recovery plan.

In extreme cases, you may have to wear night splints to will help stretch the calf and the arch of the foot. These keep the foot flexed and stretch out the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon with the aim of reducing morning pain and stiffness.

You might also want to consider the use of orthopaedics in your shoes. They help to evenly distribute pressure on the feet, which will help you to avoid and prevent even greater damage to the plantar fascia.

Things to remember…

When you think that you recognise any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned, it’s important that you stay mindful. If you’ve had persistent pain over a number of weeks and you’ve not seen any improvement through home remedies, see your GP immediately. He or she can better diagnose your problem and give you an effective treatment plan.