Finding the Right Bone Specialist for Your NeedsApril 18, 2023
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that is estimated to affect millions of people each year. It is a type of repetitive strain injury that is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot. It results in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the heel and arch of the foot. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious and chronic problems.
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. This tissue helps to support the arch of the foot, and when it becomes inflamed or irritated it causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the heel and arch. The pain is usually worse in the morning or after a long period of standing or walking.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically includes rest, stretching exercises, and the use of anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, physical therapy or orthotics may be recommended to help reduce the pain and inflammation. Surgery is rarely necessary, but may be recommended in severe cases that do not respond to other treatments. Take the first step on the road to relief. Contact Dr. King at Center for Specialty Care to discuss your Plantar Fasciitis treatment options.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by overuse or repetitive strain on the plantar fascia. This can occur from activities that involve running or jumping, as well as standing for long periods of time. Other contributing factors include poor posture, flat feet, high arches, tight calf muscles, poor footwear, and obesity. It is also more common in people over 40 years old and those who have occupations that involve a lot of standing.
In addition, people who have a sudden increase in physical activity, such as athletes who are training for a marathon, are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This is because the plantar fascia is not used to the increased strain and can become inflamed. It is important to gradually increase physical activity to avoid this condition.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel and arch of the foot. The pain may be sharp or burning and can be worse when standing or after activity. The pain may also increase after long periods of rest, such as sitting for extended periods or sleeping. Stiffness and swelling in the heel area may also be present.
In addition to pain, other symptoms of plantar fasciitis may include difficulty walking, especially first thing in the morning, or after long periods of inactivity. Pain may also be felt when stretching the foot or toes, or when pressing on the arch of the foot. In some cases, plantar fasciitis can cause a visible bump on the bottom of the foot.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
A doctor can usually diagnose plantar fasciitis based on a physical examination and a review of your medical history. The doctor may also order X-rays or an MRI to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes. The doctor may also recommend other tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan if needed.
Your doctor may also ask you to perform certain exercises to help diagnose the condition. These exercises may include stretching the calf muscles, arching the foot, and walking on the toes. Your doctor may also recommend that you wear supportive shoes or orthotics to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Don’t suffer with Plantar Fasciitis any longer. Book a consultation with Dr. King to learn what treatment options are available.
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically begins with rest and activity modification to reduce stress on the foot. This may include avoiding activities that cause pain, wearing supportive shoes, icing or using heat on the affected area, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Get the individualized treatment you need for Plantar Fasciitis. Schedule a visit with Dr. King at the Center for Specialty Care today.
In addition to these conservative treatments, physical therapy may be recommended to help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle. A physical therapist can also provide guidance on proper stretching techniques and exercises to help reduce pain and improve mobility. In some cases, a doctor may recommend a custom orthotic device to provide additional support and cushioning for the foot.
Physical Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis
Physical therapy is often recommended to help treat plantar fasciitis. This may involve stretching exercises to improve flexibility in the calf muscles and heel, strengthening exercises to improve muscle strength in the foot and lower leg, and massage to reduce pain and tightness. A podiatrist may also recommend custom orthotics to correct any imbalances in your feet.
In addition to physical therapy, your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. This may include wearing supportive shoes, avoiding activities that put strain on the feet, and using ice or heat therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also recommend taking over-the-counter pain medications to help manage your symptoms.
Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis
Custom orthotics are specially designed shoe inserts that provide arch support and cushioning for your feet. They can help reduce stress on the plantar fascia and provide relief from pain and discomfort. Many podiatrists recommend orthotics for people with plantar fasciitis.
Orthotics are available in a variety of materials, including foam, gel, and plastic. They can be custom-made to fit your feet, or you can purchase pre-made orthotics from a store. Orthotics can be worn in any type of shoe, including running shoes, dress shoes, and sandals. They can also be worn with or without socks.
Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis
In severe cases of plantar fasciitis, surgery may be recommended. The surgery involves releasing some of the pressure on the plantar fascia by cutting away some of the tissue. It is typically only recommended if other treatments have not been successful in relieving pain.
Surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. Recovery time can vary, but typically it takes several weeks before you can return to normal activities. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help with the healing process and to strengthen the muscles in your feet.
Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis
To help prevent plantar fasciitis, it is important to maintain a healthy weight and wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Stretching your lower body before physical activity can also help reduce strain on your feet. Additionally, it is important to allow adequate time for recovery after strenuous physical activity.
In addition to the above measures, it is also important to avoid activities that involve repetitive impact on the feet, such as running on hard surfaces. If you are a runner, it is important to vary your running surface and to use proper running form to reduce the impact on your feet. Additionally, it is important to wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity you are doing, as shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause strain on the feet.
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