Plantar Fasciitis: A Funny Name for Heel Pain
Heel pain is one of the most common symptoms we hear from the patients who walk through our door. In fact, ask about any podiatrist and they are likely to tell you the same thing.
But the truth is heel pain is not always as simple an issue as you might expect – there are plenty of potential reasons why someone might start experiencing it. The types of pain experienced can also be different. Is it a dull ache, or more of a sharp, burning sensation? Does it happen behind or underneath the heel?
Indeed, there are many things that should be taken into consideration in order to pinpoint the exact cause of this common – yet very diverse – symptom. And going over all the possible sources of heel pain will easily turn this blog into a small book, so here we’ll discuss the #1 culprit for this frustrating problem: plantar fasciitis.
So What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Simply put, this condition happens when the plantar fascia – the thick band of supportive tissue that runs along the bottom the foot – becomes irritated and inflamed. This is usually caused by intense and repetitive stress to the feet, which in turn causes painful tears to develop in the plantar fascia.
The pain of plantar fasciitis is most often felt when getting out of bed in the morning or after a long period of sitting, as the band has not been in motion for some time. After you have a chance to move a bit, the pain usually starts to subside.
This, however, does not mean you should dismiss it as “not a big deal.” In fact, plantar fasciitis will only get worse as you continue to put stress on your feet. So it’s important that you address the problem as soon as possible. Doing so will guarantee a much easier and faster recovery.
Even better: in many cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated at home with simple, conservative steps.
What Can You Do About It?
Here are a few things you can try when heel pain starts giving you grief:
- Wear appropriate shoes. Make sure they provide adequate arch support, heel cushioning, and wiggle room in the toebox.
- Always warm up before exercising.Take 5-10 minutes to warm up and prepare your body (and your feet).
- Ease into physical activities. Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your exercise routine. It may take several weeks to get your body in “game shape” if you’re starting a new sport or exercise program.
- Never push through the pain.If your feet hurt, stop what you’re doing and avoid high-impact activities until the pain goes away completely.
- Apply ice. This will help reduce swelling and manage pain.
- Take over-the-counter medication. Basic anti-inflammatory and pain medication can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of recovering from heel injuries like plantar fasciitis is giving your feet the opportunity to rest and heal.
Now, if you enjoy being active, the possibility of having to kick your feet up for a while may be out of the question. Fortunately, you don’t have to! Simply switching to some low-impact exercises can often help you stay healthy and active without putting excessive stress on your feet. Swimming, yoga, cycling, and water aerobics are all great options!
Of course, you should also come visit our office so we can examine your feet and determine if, in fact, plantar fasciitis is the culprit for your heel pain.
What Can We Do About It?
When conservative treatments like resting and wearing appropriate shoes are not providing enough relief, it’s time to come visit our office for a better evaluation. It may be the case that your heel pain is caused by a different condition, or your plantar fasciitis has become too severe to respond effectively to these conservative measures.
No matter the case, our Waco Foot & Ankle office specializes in heel pain and offers a wide range of treatments that will help you kick this problem for good.
Once we perform a thorough evaluation of your feet, we will be able to determine if you can benefit from any of the following treatments:
- Physical therapy
- Braces or splints
- Custom orthotics
- Stem cell therapy
- MLS laser therapy
Though rare, surgery may be recommended if your condition does not improve with these treatment approaches. And if that becomes the case for you, then we will discuss in depth what the procedure will look like so you can move forward with treatment feeling confident.
Find the Relief You Need Today!
Regardless of the cause or complications regarding your heel pain, the worst thing you can do is to keep enduring it as if it doesn’t exist! At best, you’ll keep being miserable, and at worst the problem will become more severe (and even harder to treat).
We are here for any foot and ankle concerns you may have. All you have to do is give our office a call at (254) 776-6995 to schedule an appointment today. You can also take advantage of our online contact form to have a member of our staff reach out to you.