Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that causes sharp, stabbing pain in the heel. It usually causes the most pain when putting your feet down after a period of inactivity, such as when getting out of bed.
If you have plantar fasciitis, there's hope. Plantar fasciitis is treatable, and it can often be treated without surgery. In this blog, the providers at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain more about plantar fasciitis and how it can be treated.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia, the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. The fascia provides support for the arch of your foot, which bears a lot of pressure.
As your foot strikes the ground, while walking or running, it increases pressure on your arches. Over time, this repeated pressure can lead to inflammation. Sometimes, you may even tear the fascia.
Who is most likely to get plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is common among runners and athletes, although it can occur in anyone. If you experience plantar fasciitis, you’re not alone. More than two million people get treatment for plantar fasciitis annually, making it the most common cause of foot pain. You’re more likely to get plantar fasciitis if any of the following apply to you:
- You have high arches or flat feet
- You’re obese (70% of people with plantar fasciitis are obese)
- You’re an athlete or runner or you perform exercises that require a lot of jumping
- You wear shoes that don’t support your feet
- You exercise or work on a hard surface
- You stand for long periods of time, such as at work
- You don’t stretch your calves before exercising
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Plantar fasciitis usually responds well to conservative treatments. Some of the treatments that we prescribe for plantar fasciitis include the following:
Rest is one of the best treatments for plantar fasciitis. Staying off your feet as much as possible will allow your inflamed fascia to heal, and it will help you avoid putting additional pressure on your feet.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, especially nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Motrin® or Aleve®, may help alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.
We can work with you to teach you exercises that will help prevent plantar fasciitis. These exercises may include stretches for your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons.
Night splints and/or orthotics
Wearing a night splint can help keep your muscles aligned properly, which may help prevent plantar fasciitis. In addition, we may recommend fitting you for custom orthotics that you can place in your shoes to hold your feet in the proper positions.
If you fail to get relief from the above treatments, we may try injecting steroids into the plantar fascia to provide temporary relief.
In rare cases, we may recommend surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This is usually only done for severe cases that have failed to respond to conservative treatments. This type of surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthesia.
If you have the signs of plantar fasciitis, we can help you get relief. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine today.