Determining the root cause of heel pain can be challenging, especially when other conditions like arthritis or tarsal tunnel syndrome come into play. Plantar fasciitis is a leading culprit behind heel pain. It is characterized by sharp pain, inflammation, and tenderness in the sole of the foot, particularly near the heel. Notably, the pain is most pronounced during the first few steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting. Unlike osteoarthritis, which tends to worsen with movement, plantar fasciitis pain often improves as you walk around but worsens later in the day. The condition arises when the plantar fascia, the ligament connecting the heel to the ball of the foot, loses its elasticity and develops tiny tears. These tears lead to painful swelling in the ligament. Diagnosis by a podiatrist may involve a thorough medical history, a physical examination, including range-of-motion tests, and sometimes an X-ray. The good news is that most people with plantar fasciitis find relief through non-invasive, non-surgical treatments. If you suspect you may have developed plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam, a diagnosis, and suggested treatment options.
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM from South Carolina. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Non-supportive shoes
- Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia
How Can It Be Treated?
- Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
- Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
- Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel
While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.