What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is prolonged repetitive motion or strain on the arch of your foot or heel bone. Extended standing or walking on hard surfaces, or activities like running and jogging can cause plantar fasciitis.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
If you are experiencing heel pain, your doctor will examine your foot for any sensitive areas. The location of the pain will define the cause.
Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are helpful in diagnosing plantar fasciitis and ruling out stress fractures, lower leg injuries, or arthritis.
How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis in Nashville
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. People who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
Injections. Injecting steroid medication into the tender area can provide temporary pain relief. Multiple shots aren’t recommended because they can weaken your plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
Stretching and strengthening exercises or using special devices may relieve symptoms. They include:
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you a series of exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. A therapist might also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.
- Orthotics. Your doctor might prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose supportive shoes. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, thick soles, good arch support and extra cushioning. Don’t walk barefoot.
- Don’t wear worn-out athletic shoes. Replace your old athletic shoes before they stop supporting and cushioning your feet.
- Change your sport. Try a low-impact sport, such as swimming or bicycling, instead of walking or jogging.
- Apply ice. Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 minutes three or four times a day. Icing can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles
Treatment includes stretching exercises, icing, supportive shoe gear, arch supports, inserts, oral anti inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections in our office. If the pain does not improve, we might recommend rest and immobilization utilizing a corrective boot.
Additional treatment options for plantar fasciitis are custom orthotics if your shoes are causing discomfort, massage, and icing to decrease inflammation.
Stretching and Physical Therapy
Regular physical therapy sessions will strengthen the tissue along the sole of your foot, loosen the plantar fascia, ease pain inflammation, and reestablish ankle stability.
Icing and Medication
Since plantar fasciitis usually manifests as acute inflammation, the best technique to treat your nerve irritation is to ice your foot.
Your doctor may recommend anti inflammatory medications if you don’t respond well to stretching and over-the-counter pain killers.
Rest, Activity Modification, and Orthotics
Resting for long periods will give you relief while reducing inflammation. To reduce foot pain, or if you have been diagnosed with flat feet or high arches, very flat feet or very high arches, orthotic devices are helpful.
- Shock Wave Therapy
- Steroid Injections
- Gastrocnemius Recession
Usually, conservative measures are enough to alleviate symptoms significantly. However, in some cases, non-surgical treatment is not enough and we would consider surgical options and determine the most beneficial option for the patient.
Looking For Better Treatment Options?
Cutting Edge Foot and Ankle Clinic in Nashville is a specialty clinic that fixes all kinds of foot and ankle problems.
If you are experiencing heel pain, call our office at 615-866-9639 to schedule a visit with our wonderful physicians Dr. Kidanu and Dr. Lanier.