Have you have ever woken up experiencing sharp shooting pain in your heels when getting out of bed? You may be experiencing a common medical condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a strong band of tissue that stretches from your heel bone to the bones of your forefoot. This band of tissue supports the arch of your foot and acts as a shock-absorber in your foot. Don’t be alarmed, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and is easily treated.
What causes plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is an overuse type injury. Repeated strain of this ligament may cause tiny tears, increased thickness, and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which typically leads to pain and swelling. The plantar fascia is subject to high impact and pressure while supporting the foot’s arch, and therefore may become inflamed and irritated.
You are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if:
- If you are on your feet for long periods of time, or if you do a lot of walking, running, standing, etc. Transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to greater activity.
- If you have recently started exercising on a different surface – for example, running on the road instead of a track, or working on concrete floors for a long period of time.
- If you have been wearing shoes that lack appropriate support, do not fit well, or are worn
- If you are overweight – this will put extra strain on your heel.
- If there is overuse or sudden stretching of your sole.
- If you have a tight Achilles tendon or calf muscle.
Pain can wax and wane but don’t ignore it entirely. Pain can return after prolonged rest or extensive walking. We suggest making an appointment with one of our Foot and Ankle Specialists so we can get you walking on the road to recovery. Plantar fasciitis is cured with conservative treatments in the majority of cases. Some of the treatments we suggest are:
- Exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treatment
- Application of ice reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Custom molded orthotics, or inserts
- Anti-inflammatory medications (always check with a doctor before taking any medication).
- Steroid Injections
- Splinting the foot when in resting position
- Simply, give your feet a rest! Cut back on activities that irritate your foot or worsen the pain.
- Surgery may be considered in very difficult, or recurrent cases.
A combination of all these treatments can heal your plantar fasciitis and get you back on track to enjoying your normal daily activities. Once treated there are a few things you should do to prevent plantar fasciitis from recurring, these include:
- Wearing supportive, properly-fitting footwear and regularly changing out shoes used for running or walking.
- Orthotics or shoes with good arch support.
- Heel pads or cushions
- Stretching, especially before exercise.
At Cornerstone Foot & Ankle, we suggest you NEVER ignore foot or ankle pain. It is our mission to create a foundation for your overall health by providing exceptional and comprehensive foot and ankle care tailored to your needs. Don’t let foot or ankle pain stop you from doing the things you love, request your appointment today!