Do you feel intense pain in the heels of your feet after waking up, following rest, or after extended time being on your feet? The most common reason why you may be feeling these symptoms is a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the tightening of the plantar fascia tissue located in the foot. When this tissue isn’t stretched adequately, it loses elasticity which makes it difficult to put weight on the foot or to walk.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
While there is no single reason for plantar fasciitis, there are a series of risk factors that increase the chances of a person developing the condition. Here are a few of them:
- Unhealthy Weight – A significant amount of overweight and obese individuals report having symptoms similar to plantar fasciitis. Obesity increases the weight your feet have to carry every time you stand up or walk. While the plantar fascia tissue is very strong and durable, putting more pressure on it by being overweight can weaken it.
- Extended time on feet – Certain occupations cause individuals to spend extended time on their feet. Some examples include construction workers, customer service personnel, and athletes. Lifestyle choices and hobbies can also cause you to be on your feet a lot. Examples are frequent hiking and running marathons.
- Improper footwear – While the plantar fascia tissue is strong, it needs cushioning from hard surfaces. Wearing unsupportive footwear increases the pressure on the heel of the foot which gradually puts a strain on the plantar fascia. This is why proper footwear that supports every part of the foot is crucial for healthy feet and for preventing plantar fasciitis.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
Doctors usually make a plantar fasciitis diagnosis through a physical examination, going over your symptoms, and requesting imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs. These tests help rule out bone spurs and other conditions that may be affecting the feet.
Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is treated through nonsurgical means. These methods include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medications, supportive footwear, and cortisone injections.
- Rest is the best way to heal a damaged plantar fascia. If you have a habit of being on your feet for extended periods of time, getting some rest can heal the plantar fascia so you experience less pain.
- Icing can bring temporary relief when you feel plantar fasciitis pain by numbing the heel of the foot.
- Your podiatrist may also recommend getting some custom-made orthotic footwear for daily wear and splints to wear at night. Splints help keep the toes pointed away from the body which helps stretch the plantar fascia.
- Cortisone injections are also effective in bringing relief from plantar fasciitis pain.
In some cases, nonsurgical treatments may not work and surgery might be necessary to correct plantar fasciitis, but this is rare.
Foot Care in South Texas
Pain in the foot can be debilitating because it can prevent you from enjoying the things you like to do. If you experience foot pain, contact The Podiatry Group of South Texas to find fast and effective relief. Our talented team of foot and ankle doctors have a wealth of experience treating every type of podiatry issue. Make an appointment today by calling (210) 227-8700 or request an appointment online.