November 17

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar fasciitisPlantar fasciitis is a painful condition in the feet, in particular at the bottom of the heel or along the arch in your foot.  While it usually affects only one foot, it may exist in both feet.  The term is named after the plantar fascia ligament that makes up the arch and is attached to the heel bone, where the pain commonly occurs.  This structure is inflamed when it is stressed during weight-bearing.

Many factors can lead to the stress of this ligament, for example, long-standing at work, a new routine in exercise, poor selection of shoes style and tightness to the ligament itself.  And certain foot types, like extremely high arch or low arch foot type, are predisposed to bring on the condition.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are sharp pain to the bottom of the heel or along the arch and burning sensation to these areas.  Most people relate that the first step out of their bed is excruciating.  The pain dissipates after several minutes of walking, but it may return by the end of the day.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis

The good news is that plantar fasciitis has a great prognosis with treatment.  The first step in treating this condition is to treat the inflammation process.  Ice, stretching, anti-inflammatory, cortisone injection, physical therapy and supportive shoes are all different modalities that we use to decrease the pain level in the feet.

The long-term treatment plan is to dispense custom orthotics, or inserts, to support the plantar fascia ligament and to relieve stress along its course.  Thus, the pain is alleviated and the normal function is restored to the feet.


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