Heel pain is one of the most common conditions our office sees regularly. The heel takes a lot of wear and tear every day, but not all heel pain is caused by the same issues. However, the leading cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
To understand plantar fasciitis, you must first understand the role of a ligament in your foot called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot. This thick, fibrous band of tissue connects your heel bone to your toes.
The plantar fascia supports your arch and absorbs shocks when you walk, run, jump, and partake in other physical activities. The ligament can become irritated and sustain tissue damage when excessive tension is placed upon it. Oftentimes, tension and stress are caused by repetitive movements that result in the ligament stretching and tearing.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it means that your plantar fascia is inflamed and usually has tiny tears in it.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain and/or stiffness near your heel(s) and/or along the bottom of one or both feet. You may also experience pain every morning after getting out of bed. Similar pain can be felt after exercising, taking a long car ride, or sitting in one spot for a prolonged period of time.
The pain you feel could be described as sharp, stabbing, aching, burning, or dull.
It’s also possible for your heels to swell and/or for your Achilles tendon (the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone) to feel tight. If you have a severe case of plantar fasciitis, your pain may worsen toward the end of the day.
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
As with most health conditions, the earlier you get your heel pain evaluated, the easier the treatment usually is. With plantar fasciitis, the longer you fight through the pain and put off treatment, the worse the condition will get.
Consider pursuing the following treatment options if you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis:
Rest, Ice, and Stretching
If you enjoy living an active lifestyle—especially one that involves playing sports—it might be challenging to hear that you must rest as often as possible, but rest is crucial for plantar fasciitis patients. Resting your feet allows your inflamed ligament to heal.
Icing the bottom of your foot will help in reducing inflammation and give your feet a chance to heal. One way to both ice and massage your feet is to freeze a bottle of water and then roll the frozen bottle of water on the floor with the bottom of your feet.
Stretching can help loosen taut muscles in your feet and calves, reducing aggravation in those specific areas. Stretching can also go a long way in terms of decreasing your pain.
Custom orthotics can provide tailored support and cushion for your feet. By securing a precise digital scan of your feet, our podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics that offer arch support and relieve stress/tension on the plantar fascia ligament. These shoe inserts serve as a versatile, comfortable, and convenient treatment method for plantar fasciitis.
MLS Laser Therapy
A type of regenerative medicine, MLS Laser Therapy promotes soft tissue healing and repair. MLS Laser Therapy aims to stimulate an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, which can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. MLS Laser Therapy is FDA-approved, non-invasive, and well-regarded as a revolutionary treatment method for plantar fasciitis that can offer long-lasting results.
Similar to MLS Laser Therapy, EPAT shockwave therapy is a safe and non-invasive treatment method that uses acoustic shockwaves to target damaged tissue. The shockwaves promote healing and reduce pain, making this another great treatment option for plantar fasciitis patients.
Surgery for Extreme Cases
Most people who have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis can pursue one or more of the aforementioned treatment methods and notice significant improvements within six to eighteen months. If, however, you have an extreme case of plantar fasciitis, surgery may be necessary. Surgery for plantar fasciitis involves cutting a section of the ligament to release the tension and stop the swelling.
Contact Us Today
If you have heel pain that is not going away and seems to be worsening, please contact Hicksville Podiatry today. You may have plantar fasciitis.
During your appointment, Dr. Davinder Bhela will perform a thorough evaluation and confirm if you have plantar fasciitis. If you do, Dr. Bhela’s customized care plan will address your symptoms and help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Our office is located at 66 West Barclay Street in Hicksville. You can reach us by calling 516-806-2200 or by filling out our online contact form. We’re here for you, and we’ll do everything we can to alleviate your pain and improve your mobility.