Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue (like a ligament) that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones, just behind the toes. It supports the arch of your foot, and also acts as a shock-absorber for your foot.
Repeated small injuries to the fascia are thought to be the cause of plantar fasciitis. The injury usually occurs close to where the plantar fascia connects to your heel bone.
The tendon that joins your calf muscle to your heel is the Achilles tendon. If this tendon is too tight, it can affect your ability to flex your ankle. This makes you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed or being off your feet a while
Greater pain after (but not during) exercise or activity
The pain is often worst right after getting up in the morning, or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot. Gentle exercise, such as taking a short walk, may ease the pain. Making sure to get plenty of rest will also reduce the pain. Strenuous exercise or standing for long periods of time should be avoided, as they will exacerbate the problem.
Our podiatrist can usually diagnose plantar fasciitis just by talking to you and examining your feet. Tests might be needed if the diagnosis is uncertain, or to rule out other possible causes of heel pain.
These can include X-rays of the heel or an ultrasound scan of the fascia. An ultrasound scan usually shows any thickening and swelling of the fascia in plantar fasciitis.
Although there is no single cure, many treatments can be used to ease pain. In order to treat it effectively for the long-term, the cause of the condition must be corrected, as well as treating the symptoms.
Our Podiatrist will suggest some steps that patients should take in order to cure their plantar fasciitis. These may include:
Apply Ice Packs
Exercises and Stretches
Using these treatment methods will relieve the plantar fasciitis pain in most cases. However, it will take time. Most patients find relief within about three months, and over 90% within one year, so having patience and perseverance is the key.
If the pain does not resolve, an injection of cortisone can decrease the inflammation of plantar fasciitis. However, many physicians do not like to inject cortisone because there are potentially serious problems with cortisone injections in the heel area.
A new treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis is being investigated. This treatment is called extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT. The “micro trauma” produced by this therapy is thought to stimulate the body’s own tissue repair process. ESWT is being recommended for patients who have failed to obtain relief from other treatments, or patients who are considering surgical options.
For more information on Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, contact us at (561) 123-1234.