Living With Plantar Fasciitis

Does your heel hurt? You may be among the 2 million people living with plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing foot pain in the morning that may subside as your day gets going.

Runners, dancers, women, and those who are overweight are at higher risk of developing this distressing condition. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the pain of plantar fasciitis. Several treatment options can return you to an active, pain-free lifestyle.


What is plantar fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot, connecting your toes to your heel bone. A healthy plantar fascia absorbs shock and impact to support the arch of your foot.

Repetitive stretching of this tissue, as well as stress and tension, can cause your fascia to become inflamed and irritated. Often damage to the plantar fascia is caused by running or other exercises and activities that put a lot of stress on your heel and plantar fascia. Other risk factors include:

Symptoms include heel pain, usually upon waking or after long periods of inactivity. Often, you experience pain after you exercise but not during the exercise. It’s essential to seek treatment for plantar fasciitis so the pain doesn’t impact your normal daily activities and also so you don’t develop hip or knee problems from altering your gait due to pain.

Treatments for plantar fasciitis

Podiatrist Stephen Eichelsdorfer, DPM of Town Center Foot & Ankle in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, conducts a thorough examination to determine the cause and severity of your plantar fasciitis and then prescribes the best treatment to help you find relief. Treatment options include:

Rest and NSAIDs

The first step to take when you experience pain, especially from sports or exercise, is to rest your foot and try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

Custom orthotics

Orthotic shoe inserts designed specifically for you can help redistribute your weight and the pressure on your feet to support your arches more evenly.

CAM walkers

A CAM, or controlled ankle walker, is a boot that helps keep you mobile while your foot rests and heals from the pain.

Cortisone injections

Cortisone injections can help the pain by reducing inflammation.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)

This nonsurgical procedure may help when other options fail to improve. ESWT works by directing sound waves at the area of heel pain to stimulate healing.

Physical therapy

Targeted stretches and exercises during in-office physical therapy sessions help strengthen and expand calf muscles and plantar fascia to provide relief.

Surgery

If more conservative treatments don’t work, surgery to release your plantar fascia connective tissues from your heel bone may be an option to help relieve your pain. This is rare, and it’s always a last resort.

If you’re suffering from chronic heel pain or you think you have plantar fasciitis, call Town Center Foot & Ankle, or request an appointment online. We can work with you to eliminate the pain and get you back to living an active life.

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