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!
When you arrive at our office for your evaluation, we will talk with you about your symptoms and perform a thorough evaluation, which may include the use of in-office diagnostic ultrasound and X-ray. Because several different heel pain conditions can cause similar symptoms, it’s important to confirm a diagnosis before recommending any specific treatment plan.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis can be treated through conservative methods, including:
More supportive footwear.
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.
In rare circumstances, surgery may be considered if conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief from your symptoms. However, thanks to the many advanced treatment options available at our office, the vast majority of patients with plantar fasciitis are able to resolve their pain within a few weeks to a few months of their initial appointment.
Do not wait any longer to treat your heel pain! There is no reason to keep suffering. The sooner you seek our care, the sooner you can overcome your symptoms and get back to doing what you love. Call Sierra Foot & Ankle at (775) 783-8037 to schedule an appointment at our Carson City office, or request an appointment using the contact form below.