The plantar fascia is a long, thick band of tissue that spans from the heel bone along the bottom of the foot to the toes. The plantar fascia supports the bottom of the feet and toes (as the heel rises) during walking, running, and jumping. The plantar fascia can become overly stressed or even tear or rupture from overuse or injury, causing pain and inflammation (plantar fasciitis). Being obese, standing/working on your feet for prolonged periods of time, having flat feet or high arches, and engaging in activities that involve dancing, marching or running can all contribute to, or worsen the symptoms of, plantar fasciitis. Wearing certain footwear can also put you at an increased risk of developing this condition such as high heels, flip flops, worn out shoes, or other types of footwear with inadequate support. A podiatrist will use a variety of treatment protocols to treat plantar fasciitis depending upon the severity of the condition and how long the patient has been suffering from it. A combination of rest, icing, stretching, taping, protective footwear, orthotics, and pain medication may be used to help heal the damage done to the plantar fascia and reduce pain and inflammation. A podiatrist may treat more severe or chronic plantar fasciitis (including cases that don’t respond to initial treatment) with steroid injections, laser therapy, or even surgery.
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Non-supportive shoes
- Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia
How Can It Be Treated?
- Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
- Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
- Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel
While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your podiatrist right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.