The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of the foot
An inflammation of the thick band of tissue at the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis can cause a stabbing, intense pain in the heel. Pain will typically be at it’s worst in the morning and decreases with movement. Pain may also be experienced if a person has been on their feet for long periods of time throughout the day.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia supports the muscles and arch of the foot. This ligament connects the heel bone to the toes. Too much stress can cause the ligament to stretch, which can result in damage or tears. The damaged or irritated ligament will become inflammed and cause pain and stiffness. Running, a very high foot arch, wearing footwear with poor support, and being overweight can create a high level of stress on the plantar fascia and increase the risk of developing this condition.
A podiatrist will review your medical history, perform a physical exam and may order X-rays. X-rays would be ordered to confirm that your symptoms are not being caused by a different foot disorder like heel spurs, arthritis or a fracture. During a physical exam, the doctor checks for tenderness, the arch of the foot, foot movements that cause pain, and the ankle’s range of motion.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
The majority of patients that have plantar fasciitis will be able to improve their condition using conservative, non-operative methods. A podiatrist will typically recommend a combination of treatments that may include: rest, stretching, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and ice. Cortisone injections, a night splint, supportive footwear, custom orthotics may also be recommended.
Surgery may be considered if non-operative treatments fail to improve a patients condition and pain is severe. Surgery may be done using a minimally invasive technique or as an open procedure to minimize the risk of nerve damage. During a surgical procedure, part of the ligament may be cut to relieve tension. If the patient also had a bone spur, that would be removed during the procedure.
Podiatry At The CMD
Our podiatrist are highly experienced at treating patients who are experiencing heel pain and other painful disorders of the foot. Schedule an appointment at The Center For Musculoskeletal Disorders and have a specialist diagnose, evaluate and advise you on an individualized treatment plan to address pain and mobility issues.