Plantar fasciitis, commonly known as heel pain syndrome, is an inflammation of a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot spanning from your heel to your toes – the plantar fascia. There are a variety of causes for the inflammation, including excessive strain, poorly fitting footwear, weight gain and trauma, although patients often cannot recall the specific incident that triggered the pain. If you are looking for pain relief through a quick yet thorough treatment, the specialists from Ankle & Foot Centers of America are here for you.
Heel pain is among the primary reasons that patients see a podiatrist. Symptoms include a burning sensation and/or a sharp pain that begins in your heel, radiating across the entire foot and sometimes towards the back of the foot, i.e., directly below your ankle.
These symptoms are most prevalent when you get up in the morning as well as after sitting down for an extended period of time. The pain will improve as you walk, but it will often return and never resolve entirely unless appropriate steps are taken.
In many cases, individuals suffering from heel pain will require no more than a conservative treatment, and only a small number will require surgery. To determine the ideal treatment for your unique situation, your podiatrist will begin by taking an x-ray to evaluate the problem. This will help discover any abnormality, such as a stress fracture or a heel spur.
For the majority of patients requiring conservative treatment, options include:
- Stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Shoe inserts, i.e., orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
It is also important that you wear supportive athletic shoes and adjust your daily strain level accordingly. If you feel no improvement, we will recommend night splints, supportive walking boots, and taking weight off your foot entirely. If all else fails, your condition may require surgery, involving the removal of an excessive section of the plantar fascia.
Today, there is a revolutionary alternative to surgery known as shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy involves the application of sound waves to your heel in order to induce increased blood flow to the affected area. This procedure is equally effective as surgery, with the added benefit of being non-invasive.
When to Seek Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
If you are experiencing any form of heel pain, particularly if the symptoms resemble those of plantar fasciitis, are perpetual and/or seem to be intensifying, you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Our professional podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of plantar fasciitis and their underlying causes. We will assess your situation and discuss your treatment options with you to promptly set you on the path to recovery.
Make an Appointment Today!
To learn more about plantar fasciitis and other forms of heel pain, please contact Ankle & Foot Centers of America today. You will then be able to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.