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Plantar Fasciitis

plantar faciitisPlantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When this band of connective tissue becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis occurs. Fortunately, this condition is treatable.

There are several factors that may put you at a greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis. One of the biggest factors is age; plantar fasciitis is common in those between the ages of 40 to 60. People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet are also likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This includes factory workers, teachers, and others who spend a large portion of their day walking around on hard surfaces. Another risk factor is obesity because excess weight can result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

People with plantar fasciitis often experience a stabbing pain in the heel area. This pain is usually at its worst in the morning, but can also be triggered by periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis may make it hard to run and walk. It may also make the foot feel stiff and sensitive, which consequently makes walking barefoot difficult.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the severity of the specific case of the condition. Ice massage applications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy is often used to treat plantar fasciitis, and this may include stretching exercises. Another treatment option is anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, meet with your podiatrist immediately. If left untreated, symptoms may lead to tearing and overstretching of the plantar fascia. The solution is early detection and treatment. Be sure to speak with your podiatrist if you are experiencing heel pain.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a chronic condition in which the long band of durable connective tissue across your arches - your plantar fascia - continues to become stressed and inflamed. In some cases, plantar fasciitis is a result of wearing unsupportive footwear, especially if you train or play sports on hard and flat surfaces. You can also develop plantar fasciitis due to:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Standing on your feet all day for work
  • Faulty foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches
  • High impact exercise programs

No matter what’s causing your plantar fasciitis pain, you don’t have to learn to live with the discomfort.

When should I see a podiatrist for plantar fasciitis?

Your feet shouldn’t cause you pain and because foot pain can affect your work and daily activities, you’re encouraged to schedule a plantar fasciitis exam with Dr. Frank Henry as soon as your foot pain begins. Dr. Frank Henry especially wants to evaluate you if you’re experiencing:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Stabbing pains
  • Difficulty bearing weight on your feet
  • Plantar fasciitis discomfort most commonly affects your heels and arches. Usually, your pain is worse first thing in the morning after getting out of bed, or right after getting up from a chair after sitting for several hours. The more you move around, the more your plantar fascia stretches out, and your symptoms start improving.

Occasionally, plantar fasciitis can flare up after periods of exercise or sporting activities. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, even if they seem minor or infrequent, get started on treatment with Dr. Frank Henry right away.

Which plantar fasciitis treatment do I need?

It’s important to get to the root of your plantar fasciitis through in-office diagnostic ultrasound and digital X-ray imaging. This way, Dr. Frank Henry can better pinpoint the cause or severity of your plantar fasciitis and rule out related conditions (like fractures). Depending on the outcome of your exam and imaging, Dr. Frank Henry could recommend any of the following nonsurgical treatments:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Night splints
  • Injection therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Surgery is rarely recommended, over 97% of current patients respond to non-surgical treatment

If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, you can get the treatment you need with Dr. Frank Henry, Foot and Ankle Specialist. Book your plantar fasciitis exam online, or call either clinic directly.


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