Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain can be caused by many different kinds of injuries and conditions—tendonitis, stress fractures, bone spurs, even pinched nerves. But year after year, one condition in particular stands above the others as the most frequent diagnosis, at least among adults:

Plantar fasciitis.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we treat people with plantar fasciitis almost every day. The good news is that it’s very treatable, with the vast majority of cases able to be solved non-surgically within a few months of diagnosis.

So, if you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis, don’t delay giving us a call!

 

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury caused by tears and inflammation in the plantar fascia.

This is a tough, thick band of tissue (similar to a ligament) that crosses the bottom of the foot, from the heel to the base of the toes, and supports your arch. Too much pressure and stretching on the plantar fascia over a particular time frame can damage it. Pain is typically felt along the underside of the heel, near where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.

The “classic” symptom of the condition is stabbing pain in the early morning, or whenever you stand up after being off your feet for an extended period of time.

Plantar fasciitis. disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot

What Are the Main Causes?

Anything that contributes to overuse of the fascia can be at least partially responsible for plantar fasciitis. Quite often there are a combination of factors at play.

Some of the most common underlying causes and risk factors include:

  • Wearing shoes that don’t properly support and cushion the feet
  • Having structural or biomechanical issues with your feet that naturally contribute to plantar fascia stress (such as flat arches, high arches, or overpronation)
  • Working in occupations that keep you on your feet most of the day
  • Having active hobbies (especially if you aren’t giving yourself enough rest days or are making mistakes in training)
  • Being overweight or obese

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re dealing with chronic or recurring foot pain that isn’t responding to simple at-home therapy strategies such as RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), give us a call for an appointment. As with many foot injuries, it’s best to deal with plantar fasciitis sooner rather than later. That way, you can be back on your feet and enjoying your activities!

The specific treatment recommendations we make will depend on factors such as the severity of your plantar fasciitis, what underlying causes are contributing to it, and your lifestyle. Common approaches include:

  • Injection of a corticosteroid to provide relatively quick pain relief
  • Specific stretches and exercises to relieve tension in the fascia and Achilles, and strengthen supporting muscles
  • Switching to more supportive footwear
  • Wearing orthotics to provide additional cushioning and support to your feet, and/or improve poor foot mechanics contributing to injury.
  • Wearing night splints that keep the fascia elongated while you sleep
  • Making adjustments to your exercise/training routine to reduce the amount of wear and tear on your heels—such as by running on flatter terrain or cross-training in low-impact workouts.
  • Making adjustments at work, where able

We are pleased to say that, when conservative treatment strategies are followed faithfully, more aggressive treatment options are usually not necessary. However, a very small percentage of plantar fasciitis cases may require surgery if other treatments continue to fail after many months. Of course, we will do everything in our power to help you avoid surgery if we can—and if we can’t, understand that you will be in extremely good hands with our capable foot and ankle surgeons.

Stop the Heel Pain Today

Remember, plantar fasciitis is not normal, and it is very treatable! You don’t have to put up with stabbing pain every time you get out of bed anymore. Our team can help.

Schedule an appointment today with the Texas Foot & Ankle Center to get a clear diagnosis and a customized treatment plan to put you back on your feet. You can reach our Lake & Garden District office at (214) 660-0777, or connect with us online