Suspect You Have Plantar Fasciitis? Here’s the Good News, It’s Treatable

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

If you are having pain in the heel and the bottom of your foot that is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot that can cause foot pain, heel pain, and even knee pain. It’s a frequent and often persistent kind of repetitive strain injury afflicting nearly anyone who stands for a living. When plantar fasciitis occurs, the pain is typically sharp and usually unilateral and rare reported symptoms include numbness, tingling, swelling, or radiating pain. Heel pain is worsened by bearing weight on it after long periods of rest. Being an overuse injury, like carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s common in runners and menopausal women. Identified risk factors include excessive running, standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time, high arches of the feet, the presence of a leg length inequality, flat feet, Achilles tendon tightness, obesity, and inappropriate footwear. In up to 50% of those with plantar fasciitis, a heel spur is found. A heel spur is a small bony calcification on the heel bone which occurs over a period of months caused by the straining of foot muscles and ligaments. Severe chronic cases can undermine your fitness and general health, and drag on for years with persistent heel pain and foot pain.

“Plantar fasciitis is estimated to affect 1 in 10 people at some point during their lifetime.”

What Can I Do?

Unfortunately, there are many possible causes of plantar fasciitis with the identified risk factors mentioned before. Visit your health care provider to get a diagnosis. The diagnosis is made based on your medical history and physical examination to check for the areas of tenderness in your foot. Usually, no tests are necessary and your doctor might suggest an X-ray or MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, to make sure your pain isn’t caused by an underlying issue. Sometimes an X-ray shows a spur of bone projecting forward from the heel bone.

Some people with plantar fasciitis recover with resting, icing the painful areas and stretching but there are also many other routes to receiving treatment: medication, therapy, and surgical procedures. Medicating with pain relievers can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. While physical therapy allows you to stretch the tendons in your lower limbs, night splits offer acute inflammatory stage treatment by stretching your calf and arch of your foot while you sleep. Injections, shock wave therapy, Tenex procedure, and surgery are other forms of treatment when more-conservative measures aren’t working after several months.

“A pair of insoles or custom orthotics can the best option to reduce pronation of the foot.”

Overall, the problem lies with the repetitive strain and while these conservative methods may improve your case acutely, it may not be a long-term solution. A pair of insoles or custom orthotics can the best option to reduce pronation of the foot and therefore the load on the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissues of the heel bone. The orthotics, or custom shoes, would prevent the condition from recurring to provide a long-term preventative treatment. Custom foot orthoses or orthopedic footwear or modifications can be helpful for specific, technical, and medical reasons. Plantar fasciitis is estimated to affect 1 in 10 people at some point during their lifetime and becomes more common with age; the importance is knowing your options for treatment to continue to live a pain-free life.

Are you in Need of Specialize Orthotics to Treat Your Knee Pains?

The Shoe Doctor has specialized in providing custom orthotics for 20 years. The right insole can greatly reduce knee and hip pains. We will help educate and assist you to find the perfect solution for your particular needs. We will create a 3D map of your feet and make a custom orthotics for your shoes. These orthotics along with our expert advice will get you back to being able to walk peacefully. Our sole (ha ha!) purpose is to reduce your pain and make you comfortable again. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area (driving directions here), give The Shoe Doctor a call to get the best custom orthotics in the area! We are here to assist you, give us a call at  (925) 820-0220 for your free consultation!



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Russell Pate

Russell Pate

Russell has been a Certified Pedorthist for over 28 years.

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