Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, particularly if you're between the ages of 40 and 60. Fortunately, your podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul of McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, offers treatments that can relieve your painful symptoms.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heels. The plantar fascia provides natural arch support and also absorbs the shock generated every time your feet strike the ground when you walk or run. Plantar fasciitis symptoms occur when the fascia becomes inflamed.
Pressure or stress on the fascia can cause inflammation. You may be more likely to develop the condition if you are obese/overweight or stand on your feet for many hours during the day. Age can also be a factor. After age 40, the fascia flattens and can become stressed more easily.
Certain foot and ankle conditions, such as flatfoot, high arches, or tight calf muscles may also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Your workout routine may also be to blame, particularly if you're a runner. Beginning a new workout, increasing the length of time that you exercise, or wearing shoes that don't adequately support your feet may increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis.
How can I tell if I have plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis pain may vary in intensity from a dull ache to a stabbing pain in your heel. You may notice that the pain is particularly intense after you wake up in the morning. It may also worsen after periods of inactivity or after you've been exercising.
If icing your heel and using over-the-counter pain medication doesn't relieve your pain, it may be time to pay a visit to your Bloomington podiatrist. He may recommend several methods to decrease your pain, including:
- Night splints that gently stretch the fascia while you sleep
- Prescription shoe inserts called orthotics that support and cushion your foot and heel
- Cortisone injections to reduce pain
- Exercises or physical therapy to stretch the fascia and strengthen your muscles
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy to promote healing
Most people never need surgery, but it may be an option if other treatments don't relieve your pain.
Don't let plantar fasciitis pain keep you off your feet! Call your podiatrist in Bloomington, IL, Dr. Paul, at (309) 662-9001 to schedule an appointment.