Plantar fasciitis is arguably the most common cause of heel pain that we see and treat – and we have had plenty of success fighting it!
Although plantar fasciitis is a source of heel pain for a huge number of people across the world, the good news is that it is highly treatable. Most cases can be effectively resolved within a few months using conservative methods – no surgery required.
One main reason that plantar fasciitis remains so prevalent is that people choose to just live with the condition and not seek the professional help they deserve. So, if heel pain is constantly bothering you, don’t continue to wait for it to go away. Contact us instead!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an injury to the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. It also helps form the arch of the foot.
As we walk, the plantar fascia flexes and releases, storing and releasing energy. It provides both support to the foot and aids in our movement.
When too much force is applied to the plantar fascia – either all at once or gradually through repetitive stress and impacts – the band can become overstrained, causing tears and inflammation. That’s plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that strikes first thing in the morning, or after any period of long activity. Moving the plantar fascia again after lengthy inactivity can cause healing tears in the band to reopen, leading to a temporary flare up of pain.
Any pain from plantar fasciitis is usually felt along the bottom of the heel or toward the arch of the foot. The pain is almost never constant, but – just like in the morning – you can expect it to consistently occur at certain times of day or after certain physical activities (but usually not during them).
The discomfort of plantar fasciitis might be relatively bearable and short-lasting in its early stages, but can grow harder to ignore the longer it is allowed to persist without treatment.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is often attributed to overuse, and it can be common in runners and other athletes. It is sometimes referred to as a sports injury in this way.
However, plenty more people other than athletes can suffer from plantar fasciitis! Other underlying causes and risk factors can include:
- Wearing shoes that do not properly support the arches and feet
- Abnormalities in foot structure (such as flat feet or high arches) that cause excess strain against the plantar fascia
- Standing and working on hard surfaces all day (including being barefoot on hardwood floors at home)
- Having tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles that can exert extra strain on the heel bone and plantar fascia
- Carrying excess body weight
Finding Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
To properly treat plantar fasciitis, we must determine all the factors that are contributing to it.
This is why home treatment can often be disappointing. You might have tried one or two potential remedies, but they might not have worked because they weren’t fully addressing the actual causes of your heel pain!
At Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates, we have both the tools and years of expertise to determine what is at the core of a heel pain problem. That way, we are not only able to address current symptoms, but also help prevent them from coming back in the future.
There is no one ultimate “cure-all” for plantar fasciitis. The best treatment comes by tailoring a plan to the specific circumstances and needs of each patient. Parts of a treatment plan might include:
- Temporarily reducing weight on the plantar fascia, allowing it more opportunity to heal
- Medications to relieve pain and inflammation
- Recommending more supportive and accommodating footwear
- Prescribing custom orthotics to better distribute weight across the foot and plantar fascia
- Holding the plantar fascia in an extended position overnight (using a night splint) to reduce pain in the morning
- Conditioning and stretching the plantar fascia, Achilles tendons, calves, and other interconnected elements
- Changing exercise and/or work routines to reduce strain
- MLS laser therapy to relieve pain and accelerate recovery of the plantar fascia
A plan incorporating conservative treatments such as those above will almost always greatly improve or outright eliminate discomfort within several months. Surgery is rarely ever necessary, and will often only be considered should conservative treatments fail to provide the results we need.
It’s Time to Get Rid of Your Heel Pain
Whether your heel pain is the result of plantar fasciitis or another problem, we will get to the bottom of it and provide the best treatment to meet your needs.
If you have been waiting for heel pain to go away on its own, it unfortunately almost never works that way. Find relief and avoid future complications by scheduling an appointment with Burlington County Foot and Ankle Associates. Call our office or fill out our online contact form.
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520 Stokes Road,
Medford, NJ 08055
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