Are you experiencing sharp pains like knives stabbing at your heel and the arch of your foot? Did it start out as an occasional occurrence but has been increasing in frequency and intensity as time goes by? Is the pain at its worst when you first put you feet on the floor in the morning and then gradually goes away as you walk around? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia—a large band of fibrous tissue that starts at your toes and goes all the way back to your heel bone. Excessive amounts of standing, walking, or running can cause plantar fasciitis. Certain faulty foot structures, such as having flat feet or an overly high arch can also put extra strain on the plantar fascia and cause it to become inflamed. Being overweight, while not a cause, can be a contributing factor to plantar fasciitis.
Treatment and Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis
If you suspect you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, the first step to getting relief is to come in to Lansdowne Podiatry for an exam. Because heel pain can also be a sign of other ailments, such as tendonitis, nerve issues, arthritis, or even a stress fracture, our podiatrist, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle will need to get details from you regarding when you first noticed your heel pain and the activities that seem to make it worse. Digital x-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests may be ordered to confirm your diagnosis. Once the foot doctor is certain that you have plantar fasciitis, there are a number of non invasive ways to treat this condition that will both alleviate symptoms and prevent them in the future. These include:
- Rest—giving the heel rest by taking a break from activities that cause pain and inflammation
- Footwear modifications—changing to shoes that support the arch and take pressure off the plantar fascia
- Physical therapy—to relieve pain and provide stretching exercise that will help with recovery and prevention of future pain
- Strapping/padding—pads can diminish the impact on the foot from walking and straps can provide support that reduces the strain on the plantar fascia
- Night splints—helps keep the plantar fascia stretched overnight for less pain in the morning
- Orthotic devices—placed in your shoes, these can help correct foot position to eliminate irritation