Heel pain is one of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by inflamed tissue along the underside of the foot. While painful, plantar fasciitis is very common and is something an experienced podiatrist can treat.
In this article, we discuss plantar fasciitis and some heel pain solutions to help you manage your condition. We also recommend a podiatry practice in San Antonio, TX.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
Strain on the plantar fascia is what causes plantar fasciitis symptoms. It is a common overuse injury most often seen in runners and individuals whose occupations require them to be on their feet for extended periods of time.
When the tissue is strained, it can develop tears, which causes inflammation. The inflammation causes pain that is usually worse in the morning. You may suffer from plantar fasciitis due to the following:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a job that involves prolonged standing or walking
- Frequent running or jumping, which are high-impact activities
- A sudden increase in intensity of physical activity
- Havingcertain foot issues, such as flat feet or high arches
- Regularly wearing ill-fitting or unsupportive footwear
Heel pain from plantar fasciitis is often described as a sharp pain in the heel or along the bottom of the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors
You could be at greater risk of plantar fasciitis due to the following:
#1 Occupational Factors
Certain occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing or walking on hard surfaces can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
- Healthcare workers
- Retail workers
- Factory workers
#2 Foot Structure and MechanicsAbnormalities
Abnormal foot structure or mechanics, such as having high arches or flat feet, can put additional stress on the plantar fascia. A podiatrist can address these structural issues to lower strain on the plantar fascia.
#3 Tight Calf Muscles
Tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. When these muscles are tight, they can pull on the heel bone, placing extra stress on the plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis is a highly treatablepodiatric condition. Usually a combination of solutions can help alleviate heel pain and promote healing of the plantar fascia.
Some of the treatments used for plantar fasciitis include:
1. Rest and Ice
Resting the affected foot and applying ice packs can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Avoid activities that exacerbate the symptoms and consider temporarily modifying your exercise routine.
2. Stretching and Strengthening
Gentle stretching exercises for the calf muscles and the plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce strain on the affected area. Strengthening exercises for the foot and ankle can also provide support and stability.
3. Orthotic Devices
Shoe inserts or custom orthotics can give added support and cushioning to the arch and helps minimize strain on the plantar fascia. These devices also help distribute pressure more evenly across the foot and are usually recommended by podiatrists for heel pain.
4. Night Splints
Consider using night splints, which are devices designed to keep your foot in a stretched position while you sleep. Night splints can help alleviate morning pain and stiffness by preventing the plantar fascia from tightening overnight.
5. Footwear Modification
Wearing shoes with proper arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption can alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage. Choose footwear that fits well and supports the natural shape and movement of your foot.
6. Physical Therapy
A physical therapist can develop a personalized treatment plan that includes manual therapy techniques and targeted exercises that help relieve and prevent plantar fascia pain.
7. Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for plantar fasciitis that utilizes high-energy sound waves to stimulate the healing process of the plantar fascia. During the procedure, a handheld device delivers controlled shockwaves to the bottom of the foot, which increases blood flow and stimulates tissue regeneration.
8. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. However, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with your doctor first in case it interacts with other medications you are taking.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak, TX
The Podiatry Group of South Texas has some of the most highly skilled foot and ankle surgeons or podiatrists on staff ready to provide you with the highest quality plantar fasciitis treatment. We have 14 locations to choose from – call our podiatry office nearest you. You can also fill out an online form to schedule an appointment. We have the highest level of commitment to relieving your plantar fasciitis symptoms.