Every year 2 million people are treated for plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause of heel pain. It occurs when the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes (plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed. In this blog, we’ll discuss the common symptoms, causes, complications, and treatment options for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly described as a sharp, stabbing pain or stiffness on the bottom of your heel. Most patients discover that the first few steps after getting out of bed are typically the most painful, but standing for a long period or getting up after resting for a while can cause the pain to flare up as well. Those who are active found that it’s most painful after exercising rather than during it.
The plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring to support the arch. Typically, it would absorb the shock, stress, and strain when we walk, but with too much pressure or a tissue tear, it causes sharp pain on the bottom of your heel. If there is too much repeated stretching and tearing, it can continue to irritate and inflame injury. While some cases of plantar fasciitis can develop without a known cause, there are a few factors that increase your risk:
- • Age – Most people who develop this condition are between 40 and 60 years old
- • Exercise – Activities that place a lot of stress on the heel of your foot can lead to this condition, such as ballet or long-distance running
- • Foot Mechanics – Flat feet, high arches, or abnormal walking patterns can put extra weight on the plantar fascia
- • Obesity – The added weight places additional stress on the plantar fascia
- • Work – People who spend long hours on their feet or stand on hard surfaces can damage their plantar fascia, such as factory workers or teachers
Ignoring the first signs of plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain that can impact all of your normal activities. Changing the way you walk may relieve the immediate pain, but it will result in long-term foot, knee, hip, or back problems if repeated.
When visiting with your physician, they will likely examine your foot and look for the following signs that might indicate plantar fasciitis:
- • High arches
- • Tenderness on the bottom of the foot near the heel
- • Intensified pain when your foot is flexed or when pressure is put on it
- • Limited ankle mobility
Depending on the severity of your condition, your treatment options will vary. Fortunately, the condition can often be treated without surgery, so you can get back to living a pain-free lifestyle. In most cases, treatments are a combination of stretching and physical therapy, a splint to stretch your foot, anti-inflammatory medicine, or a steroid injection.
We’re Here to Help
Like most medical issues, the quicker you catch it, the easier it is to treat. If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, call us today to set up a consultation with Dr. Krejci-Reed or another physician to discuss your options. You can reach Lincoln’s orthopaedic experts at Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC by calling 402-489-4700.