How to Deal, Heal & Get Moving Again
The alarm clock goes off, and it’s time to start your day. As you climb out of bed, though, you experience pain in your foot—as you do nearly every day.
If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis, an overuse injury that affects the sole of the foot.
Stretching from the heel bone to the front of the foot, the plantar fascia is a long ligament that is responsible for supporting the arch and absorbing the stress that’s placed on the foot. In plantar fasciitis, the patient suffers from microscopic tears, inflammation and stiffness of the ligament. Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged patients, and impacts nearly 2 million people a year.
Reduce your risk.
Potential risk factors for this type of heel pain include:● Obesity● High arches● High-impact sports, such as running● Improper athletic training● Shoes with poor cushioning● Prolonged standing
Pinpoint your pain.
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:● Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel● Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest, such as after a long car ride.● Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity
Get the answers you need.
After you describe your symptoms and discuss your concerns, your doctor will examine your foot. Your doctor will look for these signs:● A high arch● An area of maximum tenderness on the bottom of your foot, just in front of your heel bone● Pain that gets worse when you flex your toes upward and the doctor pushes on the plantar fascia. The pain improves when you point your toes down● Limited “up” motion of your ankle
Life’s too short to put up with pain.
A majority of plantar fasciitis patients show improvement after non-surgical treatments, such as rest, regular stretching, custom-molded orthotics, supportive shoes and medication. Our doctors, may also recommend the following noninvasive treatments:● Cortisone injection therapy, to reduce inflammation of the fascia● Night splinting, which draws the toes back toward the body and allows a plantar fascia stretch● Platelet rich plasma injections, which allow growth factors in the blood to improve tissue healing● Walking casts that immobilize the injured foot