Nine times out of ten, patients who come to me complaining of heel pain are suffering from plantar fasciitis. The fact that this is a fairly common condition doesn’t make the pain any easier to bear. Is your heal pain caused by plantar fasciitis? Find out here.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes is known as the plantar fascia. Normally, it acts as a shock absorber, supporting the arch of your foot, but with overuse and stress, it can become stretched and torn, causing irritation and inflammation near the heel. Runners—even recreational ones—often experience this condition, but it is also common in people who are overweight or who wear shoes that don’t offer sufficient arch support.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. In most people, it is at its worst first thing in the morning, making those first few steps you take when you get out of bed almost unbearable. As you get moving, the pain may subside. Standing for long periods of time can also trigger the pain.
How Is the Condition Treated?
As with any foot or ankle pain, the longer you wait to get treatment, the more extensive the treatment may need to be. You can always take a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium to get you through the day, but you should also explore more permanent solutions, such as the following:
- Exercise and stretching. Sometimes, patients find relief with simple stretches to loosen the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Exercises that strengthen the lower leg can also relieve pressure on the bottom of the foot.
- Night splints. Wearing a splint that stretches your arch and calf at night can give you relief the next day.
- Orthotics. These shoe inserts offer arch support that can take the pressure off the plantar fascia and relieve the pain.
- Injections. Injecting a steroid into the sore tissue can offer pain relief, but is not a permanent solution. At Center Grove Foot and Ankle Care, we offer a cutting-edge treatment where we inject your own platelet-rich plasma into the tissue to offer relief.
- Shockwave therapy. Another promising treatment we offer is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT). In this treatment, sound waves are directed at the damaged tissue to stimulate healing.
- Surgery. As a last resort, we offer surgery to remove the plantar fascia from the heel bone to relieve the pain.
At Center Grove, We Always Start With the Most Conservative Treatment
When you come to us to treat your heel pain, we will always start with the least-invasive, least-expensive treatment options. Our goal is the same as your goal—to treat your foot and ankle symptoms and get you back on your feet. Make an appointment for an evaluation of your pain today.