Plantar fasciitis is heel pain that is the result of an inflammation of a band of tissue (the plantar fascia) running under the foot that connects from the heel bone to the toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain is usually more noticeable in the first few steps after waking. It can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during.
Though plantar fasciitis can arise without an obvious cause, several factors can increase the risk of developing the issue including age (plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60), or exercise that places a lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue, such as long-distance running, jumping activities, ballet and aerobic dance. Occupations that require lots of standing or walking, or having flat feet, a high arch or even a different pattern of walking can affect the way weight is distributed and put added stress on the plantar fascia. Being overweight or standing on a ladder for long periods of time can lead to plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a connective tissue band that links the heel to the toes. It acts like a shock absorber, supporting the arch in the foot. If tension and stress become too great, small tears can arise in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed, although in many cases of plantar fasciitis, the specific cause isn't clear. Unsupported, pronated feet, where the ankles turn inward can cause the issue.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis can vary, but the general idea is to stop the inflammation and help support the arch of the foot to take off the pressure. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen can often relieve the pain. Physical therapy can help stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen muscles, reducing tension. Night splints that stretch the arch and calf hold the fascia in a longer position overnight, improving its flexibility. Custom orthotics are a good treatment option for day time stress relief. More aggressive options include steroid injections and shock wave therapy are options for cases that do not respond to other treatment options. In some severe cases, surgery is an option.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry we emphasize treatment options that reduce the need for surgery (fewer than one percent of our patients require surgery). "FABS" (Foot Arch Band Support), an over the counter self-applied arch band available at our office, reduces the pain and inflammation of Plantar Fasciitis. For a more long-lasting solution, we offer PerfectPosture Orthotics which can provide ongoing relief. With laser therapy, we are often able to alleviate the pain and eliminate the need for anti-inflammatory drugs or injections.
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain any treatment options before beginning any course of treatment.
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- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue