People with plantar fasciitis deserve a hug. Some people suffer with this pain for years on end, unable to get rid of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, which include a stabbing feeling near the heel, pain when getting up in the morning, and discomfort after standing for a long amount of time. All that pain can really affect your whole approach to life. Our team at Sierra Foot & Ankle knows what you’re going through and wants to help!
Not a Friendly Condition
Plantar fasciitis is the pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot, from heel to toe. When the tissue absorbs too much shock, through overuse, it develops tiny tears. When you rest, those tears try to heal themselves but become irritated and inflamed once you stretch out the tightened tissue again with each step.
This pain can go away after you limber up, only to return once you get up after sitting down or resting for a while. If you don’t catch the condition early, it can become chronic. That may be the reason why plantar fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain.
Shoes, Arch Types, and Overuse can Cause Pain
Most causes of heel pain are from overuse, unsupportive shoes, high or flat arches, and obesity. Wearing good shoes and losing some weight can also help you prevent the condition, not just treat it. High heels, improper running shoes, and men’s hard-sold dress shoes could be culprits that help form this persistent pain. Your risk for this condition also goes up with your age. Occupation may also come into play if you spend a lot of hours on your feet.
Sierra Foot & Ankle Never Gives Up on You
We know, you wish you could just heal your arches with some simple ice and rest. We’re sure you’ve heard that plenty of times. For mild symptoms, this may work. However, if you’ve had persistent pain for months, even years, we recommend more advanced treatment.
The key to recovery is diligence. Even if your feet feel better, you have to follow a thorough treatment plan to keep the pain away. We cannot stress how important it is to wear good shoes. Footwear with arch support and a raised heel can take pressure off the plantar fascia. Also, make sure you wear your shoes at all times. Going barefoot can irritate your problem. Reducing your body weight, if you’re overweight, may be another way to minimize symptoms.
Night splints can improve your ability to get out of bed in the morning without pain. These splints keep your toes stretched upward and your foot at a 90 degree angle when you sleep. The goal is to gently stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep so it’s not stiff when you wake up. You can also minimize pain if you stretch your plantar fascia, massage your soles, and flex your feet before you get out of bed for a few minutes.
Physical therapy is a good step up from home treatments. During these sessions of therapy your therapist will tailor you a program to stretch and strengthen the bottom of your foot. They may also teach you how to tape your feet to offload pressure.
More procedures include steroid shots, shockwave therapy, and surgery. Some people find relief in extracorporeal shockwave therapy—using sound waves to stimulate healing—but it’s not consistently effective for everyone. Laser therapy is another non-invasive treatment that stimulates healing. In cases where more conservative treatments have failed, we may suggest surgery as another possibility to help you take control of the pain that’s controlling you.
We know how hard it is to live with heel pain. You might not appear to be hurting, but discomfort like this can really keep you from enjoying life. Let us help you with your symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Call Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, in Carson City and Gardnerville for an appointment at 888-608-8406. Sierra Foot & Ankle is also available on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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