Posts for tag: Plantar Fasciitis
While heel pain is a common problem this doesn’t mean that it should just be brushed aside or considered a small matter. Untreated heel pain can lead to long-term pain and other problems. While there are many causes of heel pain the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. This condition causes irritation and inflammation within the thick band of tissue (known as the plantar fascia) that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel.
The telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is that the heel pain occurs under the heel beneath the heel bone. The pain may radiate to the arches of the feet because the plantar fascia provides support to the arches, as well. Heel pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after long bouts of inactivity. You may notice that your heel pain gets better with movement and exercise but gets worse immediately after.
Many people can treat plantar fasciitis effectively with at-home care; however, if your symptoms are severe, become worse or aren’t responding to conservative home treatments after five days then it’s time to see your podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to provide you with answers as to what is causing your heel pain and how to best treat it.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Simple, conservative measures are usually all that’s needed to treat heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. This includes:
- Resting and avoiding exercise and high-impact activities that will make symptoms worse
- Icing the heel and arches of the feet up to 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Wearing supportive shoes with a low heel
- Placing custom orthotics within shoes for additional support
- Performing specific foot stretching and strengthening exercises
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling
- Wearing a night splint to reduce morning pain and stiffness
Your foot doctor can show you a variety of exercises to perform that can alleviate heel pain and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist can also make prescription shoe inserts to provide your feet with the proper cushioning and structural support they need to reduce pressure points and improve the biomechanics of your feet.
Those with severe and persistent heel pain may require more aggressive treatment options such as ultrasound, steroid injections or shockwave therapy. Chronic plantar fasciitis may even require surgery to get rid of inflammation and tension within the plantar fascia. Surgery is rare but may be necessary when other treatment options have failed to properly manage and treat symptoms.
If you are dealing with heel pain for the first time it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who can determine the cause of your pain and provide you with a customized treatment plan to get your heel pain under control.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, roughly 15 percent of foot conditions that must be treated by a podiatrist are caused by plantar fasciitis. If you are familiar with the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, take immediate action to have the problem treated by your Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne, NJ, podiatrist. It’s a problem that can get progressively worse with time without necessary therapies.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
The plantar fascia is a long band of connective tissue that runs below the foot. It attaches the toe bone to the heel bone. It can stretch and become inflamed due to frequent participation in physical activities, like running. Patients who are carrying extra weight are also at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis symptoms. A study published in the Medical Clinics of North America found that obesity plays a role in 70 percent of cases. Some people are born with feet that are poorly structured and prone to plantar fascia injuries.
Plantar Fasciitis Signs and Symptoms
One sign of a potential case of plantar fasciitis is flat feet. There should be an arch at the inside center of each foot. If that arch isn’t there, it may mean that the plantar fascia is stretched out. Other symptoms include:
- Foot or heel pain that reduces your activity level.
- Heel spurs (bony growths under the heel bone).
- Swelling or a throbbing sensation below the heel and beneath the feet.
The plantar fascia ligament can be successfully repaired in many cases with a proper diagnosis and consistent therapy. These are some of the treatments that your Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne podiatrist may use to improve the condition of your feet:
- Stretching exercises that help relieve pain.
- Modifications to your shoes and activities.
- Oral medication or injection therapy (corticosteroid injections).
- Night splinting, padding, and custom orthotics.
- A surgical procedure when other non-invasive methods don’t provide results.
The Way to Better Feet
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most diagnosed foot problems in podiatry. If you want to hit the ground running with healthier feet, call (973) 692-1111 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Humaira Syed. She is an experienced podiatrist who is proud to serve patients at Reds Ankle & Foot Associates, with locations in Clifton, Fort Lee, and Wayne, NJ.