Heel Pain And Plantar Fasciitis
Heel pain is a commonly experienced orthopedic problem ranging from minor inconvenience to chronic conditions. Heel pain is typically caused by inflammation due to stress fractures, arthritis, nerve irritation, cysts, tendonitis, and, most frequently, plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue between the heel and toes becomes inflamed, increasing and potentially debilitating heel pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Many individuals are prone to developing heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis, due to the mechanics of their feet. For example, plantar fasciitis can result from flat feet, excessively high arches, or poor orthopedic alignment that puts pressure on the inner or outer edges of the feet.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Heel pain.
- Pain in the arch of your foot.
- Swelling around your heel.
- A tight Achilles tendon.
How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?
You may observe an improvement in your plantar fasciitis symptoms as soon as you begin treating them. However, it may take several weeks to a few months for your plantar fascia to heal completely. If your symptoms improve but then return, you can try the same at-home treatments you used before. In case your symptoms feel different or worse than before, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Though plantar fasciitis can cause extreme pain, simple steps can be taken to treat this heel condition. Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is responsive to various treatment protocols, including an effective stretching regimen, icing, footwear modifications, and an-inflammatory medications.
Cutting Edge Foot and Ankle Clinic gives your hardworking feet the care they deserve. Call us today if you are experiencing any heel pain – our podiatry specialists can diagnose and treat various heel-related issues, including plantar fasciitis, to get your back on your feet comfortably.
Nonsurgical Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Physical Therapy
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, physical therapy is an essential component of your treatment plan. It can assist in stretching your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons. By working with a physical therapist, you can learn exercises that will strengthen your lower leg muscles, stabilize your gait, and reduce the strain on your plantar fascia.
2. Shock Wave Therapy
If you are experiencing ongoing pain and other treatments have not been effective, your doctor may suggest extracorporeal shock wave therapy. During this therapy, sound waves are used to target your heel and encourage the healing of the ligament. It is important to note that this treatment may have potential side effects, such as:
3. Stretching Exercises
Gentle stretches can help relieve and even prevent plantar fasciitis. Stretching your calves and the plantar fascia helps loosen your muscles and reduce heel pain.
Taking breaks from high-impact exercises, such as running, is crucial for allowing the plantar fascia to recover. Engaging in low-impact activities like swimming can provide a way to exercise without aggravating heel pain. When resuming running, it is important to start gradually and take breaks to stretch during exercise to prevent pain from returning. Don’t forget to stretch before starting workouts as well! Simple stretches can be done with basic equipment such as a chair, foam roller, or frozen water bottle. Learning the appropriate stretches can aid in the healing and prevention of plantar fasciitis.
Surgical Treatments for Plantar fasciitis.
1. Gastrocnemius Recession
In the event that you experience trouble flexing your feet despite regular stretching, your doctor may suggest gastrocnemius recession surgery. This procedure involves extending the calf muscle to improve ankle movement and flexibility in the foot, as well as alleviate stress on the plantar fascia.
2. Plantar Fascia Release
If you undergo a plantar fascia release, your surgeon will cut a portion of your plantar fascia ligament to reduce tension and alleviate inflammation. This procedure may involve making small incisions in the ligament or detaching the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It can be done using endoscopic or open surgery methods. However, it is important to note that this can weaken the arch of your foot and may result in loss of full functionality
When Should I Seek Professional Help For My Heel Pain?
If you experience heel pain for more than a few weeks, find it severe, and hinder your daily activities, it’s best to seek professional help. Also, if you have difficulty walking, swelling, or redness around the heel, or if self care measures don’t work, visit a healthcare professional such as a podiatrist. They can offer a precise diagnosis and suggest suitable treatment options.
If you’re experiencing heel pain and looking for treatment options, book a same-day appointment with us at Cutting Edge Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our team of skilled podiatry specialists is committed to providing you with personalized care so that you can get back on your feet comfortably. Don’t let heel pain hinder you any longer – contact us today to take the first step toward relief.