Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that results in pain and inflammation along the plantar fascia, the long, thin band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes. The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that worsens with activity or after long periods of rest. You will likely experience a sharp or stabbing pain in your heels of the feet first thing in the morning and after long periods of sitting and standing.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is overuse or strain of the ligament, often from walking or running. Obesity, tight calf muscles, an abnormal foot structure, a sudden increase in the intensity of activity, and the wrong footwear can also contribute to this condition.
Do I Need Plantar Fasciitis Treatment?
You need treatment for heel pain if you:
- Are not sure what is causing your foot pain
- Have difficulty walking or performing your daily tasks and hobbies due to the pain
- Are a professional or amateur athlete and the condition is impacting your performance
- Are unable to exercise and have become physically inactive because of it
- Have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to the symptoms
- Would like to avoid complications associated with the condition
- Are tired of living with chronic foot pain
Plantar fasciitis shares symptoms with other podiatry conditions that cause heel pain, such as stress fractures, nerve compression, and loss of fatty tissue. An accurate diagnosis can only be provided by a foot and ankle doctor, who will perform a physical exam and an evaluation of your medical history.
At-home treatments for heel pain include the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method, which can relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, it’s time to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can recommend stretching and physical therapy exercises to relieve heel pain and strengthen your lower calf muscles. The doctor may also prescribe medication that provides pain relief and controls swelling to further improve your condition.
In addition to treating your condition, podiatrists also design a preventive program that includes tailored recommendations regarding exercise, conditioning programs, footwear, and the use of custom orthotics. Custom-made orthotics are made specifically for your feet and address issues that can increase your susceptibility to plantar fasciitis, such as having flat feet or high arches.
If after two months of treatment you are still experiencing heel pain, a podiatrist can administer non-surgical methods of treatment to manage the pain, such as shock wave therapy and steroid injections. Shockwave therapy uses sound waves to promote healing of the damaged plantar fascia, and steroid injections control pain. Surgery is rarely necessary for plantar fascia treatment, but as an expert, a podiatrist can perform surgery to lengthen the gastrocnemius tendon, which is part of the Achilles tendon, and relax tension in the plantar fascia.
Podiatrist in Naples, FL
If you want relief from plantar fasciitis pain, put your trust in Dr. Jaime Weaver, our podiatrist at the Joint Replacement Institute in Naples, Florida. Dr. Weaver diagnoses, treats, and prevents all sorts of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis. You will leave our clinic pain-free and with a complete understanding of what caused your heel pain, as well as the corrective measures to take to prevent a recurrence. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Weaver, call our clinic today at (239) 261-2663 or use our convenient online request form.