Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It can develop in a wide range of people, from desk workers to full-time athletes.
The good news is that the vast majority of plantar fasciitis cases can be treated effectively without the need for surgery, using conservative methods that directly address the causes behind the condition.
If you have heel pain – and especially have sharp pain that is at its worst as soon as you get up in the morning or after a long period of sitting still – there is a significant chance you have plantar fasciitis. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and take an important first step toward lasting relief.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a strong, thick band of tissue that runs beneath the foot, attaching to the heel bone and the base of the toes. It helps form the arch along the way, and flexes while you move to store and expend energy for motion.
Plantar fasciitis can develop when the plantar fascia experiences too much strain, causing aggravation, inflammation, and/or tears within the band.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia can be aggravated in a variety of ways, including:
- Engaging too intensely in physical activity.
- Experiencing repetitive impacts of physical activity for too long without allowing the body enough recovery time (e.g. long-distance running every day without taking enough rest days).
- Work or hobbies that require extended time standing or being on your feet, especially on hard surfaces.
- Wearing improperly fitting or poorly designed shoes that shift excess pressure to the plantar fascia.
- An abnormality in foot structure that shifts excess pressure to the plantar fascia.
- Tight calf muscles or other structures that can pull on the heel and, in turn, the plantar fascia.
- Relatively fast weight gain or weight loss, including from pregnancy.
In many cases, more than one factor can contribute to a case of plantar fasciitis.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Since a variety of potential factors can be at least partially responsible for your heel pain, we must properly identify and address those factors to provide the best results during treatment.
This includes a thorough physical examination of your feet, as well as discussing the circumstances around your heel pain. When does it tend to bother you most? What kinds of activities do you tend to enjoy? What kinds of shoes do you wear? Please don’t hesitate to add anything you feel might be important, as it can be helpful information.
Sometimes, we might also conduct an imaging test to confirm a diagnosis, or the extent of the damage.
Once we have a firm understanding of the situation behind your plantar fasciitis, we will recommend a treatment plan. The clear majority of plantar fasciitis cases can be fully resolved or very significantly reduced within a few months using conservative treatment. Your treatment plan might include (but not be limited to):
- Changes in footwear.
- Changes in your workout schedule and/or routines.
- The use of custom orthotics to shift excess pressure away from the plantar fascia and/or address abnormalities in foot structure.
- Stretches and exercises to condition and strengthen the plantar fascia and connected elements.
- Cortisone injections for periodic relief of inflammation and pain.
Surgery is rarely needed for plantar fasciitis, but might be necessary in cases that are severe or do not respond to other forms of treatment. Surgical procedures might consist of the installation of HyProCure stents to correct misalignment in the feet or a release of the plantar fascia, among others. We will fully discuss your options with you and answer any questions you may have.
Treat Your Plantar Fasciitis Now
No matter how long you have been living with heel pain, the best time to start taking proper care of it is now. The longer you let a condition like plantar fasciitis go unaddressed, the higher the chances of it becoming more difficult to treat.