Find out more about the most common foot problem to cause heel pain.
Dealing with heel pain? If so, then it could be plantar fasciitis? This condition is common amongst athletes, particularly runners. If you find yourself dealing with heel pain and you are physically active then our West Orange, NJ, podiatrists are here to tell you how plantar fasciitis could be to blame.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Inside the foot, running along the soles from the toes to the heel is a thick ligament (tissue) known as the plantar fascia, which supports the arches of the feet. If the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or swollen you’ll experience pain that originates at the bottom of your heels when putting weight on the foot or walking. Plantar fasciitis can develop in either one foot or both feet.
What causes this condition?
Plantar fasciitis usually occurs over time, as overuse leads to microtears in the tissue. As this happens, pain and inflammation set in. This is most common in those who are overweight, those who run or walk on hard surfaces for long periods of time, those who pronate when they walk, those with tight Achilles tendons, as well as those with flat feet or high arches.
What are the classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most common symptom is heel pain that is often at its worse after sitting for long periods of time or first thing in the morning. You may find that the pain lets up a little over the course of the day. Just don’t let the dissipating pain deceive you; if you end up working out you may find that the pain quickly returns.
Along with heel and even arch pain you may also notice stiffness in the foot. If your foot pain occurs most often at night that this might not be plantar fasciitis but it could be a sign of another problem such as arthritis or tarsal tunnel syndrome, which warrants seeing your foot doctor in West Orange, NJ.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Most people will find that they are able to manage their symptoms with simple at-home measure such as:
- Giving your feet ample rest time
- Avoiding strenuous activities
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
- Performing certain toe and calf stretches multiple times a day
- Wearing proper supportive footwear
- Placing orthotics into your shoes for further support
If you don’t find your symptoms subsiding after a week of at-home care, or if symptoms get worse, then your podiatrist may recommend steroid injections, a night splint, shockwave therapy or other more aggressive treatment options such as surgery for persistent cases.
Don’t let plantar fasciitis become a common problem for you. Our West Orange, NJ, podiatric specialist would be happy to sit down with you and discuss ways to keep your feet safe while still enjoying those daily runs. Call Foot Health Center today to find out how we can help.