Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Strain or tearing of your plantar fascia through repetitive stretching or tearing can lead to irritation and inflammation. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, contact Dr. Floyd Pacheco, Jr. at Sandia Foot and Ankle in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has helped countless plantar fasciitis patients alleviate pain and regain the bounce in their step.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually worse after exercise - not during. It may be triggered by long periods of standing or rising after sitting.
Causes of plantar fasciitis can include high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, tight tendons, obesity, aging, pronation or abnormal twisting or rolling of feet, improper training, the repetitive nature of sports activities, exercise that places stress on your heel and attached tissue, but rarely a single injury to the foot.
After asking about your symptoms, Dr. Pacheco conducts a physical exam of your feet and watches while you stand and walk. Often, X-rays are not used to diagnose your condition. X-rays do not show ligaments clearly and are not useful in diagnosing plantar fasciitis. If you start your treatment when you first notice your symptoms it is more successful and takes less time than treatment that is delayed.
Many people recover from plantar fasciitis within a year through nonsurgical treatment. These treatments may include resting your feet and reducing inflammation by icing your heel or taking a nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Wearing sturdy shoes with good shock absorption or arch support may be helpful. The use of heel cups and shoe inserts to cushion your feet, and performing simple exercises such as toe, calf, and towel stretches all aid in your treatment.
Usually, surgery is not needed for plantar fasciitis. Dr. Pacheco only considers surgery if nonsurgical treatment does not relieve the pain and your heel pain is restricting your daily activity. If you do need surgery, the primary surgery for plantar fasciitis is plantar fascia release. This procedure involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament, thus releasing tension on the ligament and relieving inflammation. Other procedures such as removing heel spurs or stretching or loosening specific foot nerves usually are done in combination with the plantar fascia release when there is continued heel pain and another heel problem.
*Individual results may vary