A Common Pain in the Heel
Heel pain is one of the most common symptoms we see in our office; and plantar fasciitis is often the cause of the problem.
The most identifiable sign of plantar fasciitis is pain as soon as your heel hits the floor in the morning or after a long period of sitting or resting. But what exactly is this condition, and what can be done about it?
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a very sturdy yet flexible band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, between the toes and the heel bone. It helps form the arch and stores energy to propel us forward when we walk.
If the plantar fascia is overstressed, either from sudden shock or over a long period of time, it can develop tiny tears and become inflamed. This is plantar fasciitis.
The reason why plantar fasciitis becomes aggravated in the morning or after inactivity is that the band has had time to rest and contract. Moving again forces the band to expand, and it can take a few minutes for it to “warm up.”
Different factors can cause your plantar fascia to become inflamed:
Long-term stress or sudden shocks from physical overuse (e.g., pushing your body too hard too quickly, or running too long without time for rest and recovery).
Abnormal foot structures that place excessive stress on the heel and/or center of the arch.
Poorly supportive shoes that put excessive stress on the heel and/or center of the arch.
Age, weight, and inflammatory diets that you eat.
Finding the Relief You Need!
We will want to perform a full exam to ensure plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel pain, rather than a different heel pain diagnosis.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis can be treated through conservative methods, including:
More supportive footwear.
A contoured footbed to fully support your arch, also known as an orthotic.
Stretches and exercises to strengthen the arch and to maintain flexibility of the Achilles tendon.
Steroid injections to calm down severe pain and discomfort.
Advanced regenerative treatments with an AmnioFix injection to stimulate growth factors and stem cells.
MLS laser treatment to increase cellular healing.
Night splints to provide a continual stretch of the plantar fascia, which will lessen the pain in the morning.
Lifestyle changes to reduce weight and diet modifications, if needed.