Are you a morning person? If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, we must guess that getting out of bed and putting your feet onto the floor may be far from your favorite part of the day!
Whether you’ve always been ready to rise with the sun, the shooting, stabbing pain near the bottom of your heel that can come with getting out of bed can cause anyone to think twice.
If this sounds like you, or you’re experiencing heel pain after periods of inactivity or at other times of the day, you should really come see us and have Dr. Scudday examine the source of your discomfort.
While plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain we find, no form of pain is normal and trying to ignore any form of enduring or persistent pain just runs the risk of making things worse.
With that out of the way, let’s look deeper into what causes plantar fasciitis and, more importantly, how it can be treated.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
It’s never fun when a hard-working member of any team gets injured. When it comes to supporting your body, the plantar fascia is one of those power players.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that bridges the toes to the heel bone along the bottom of the foot.
It’s a strong but flexible part of the foot that upholds the arch and absorbs the shocks of everyday movement against the feet and lower limbs.
Being strong, however, doesn’t mean being invincible. If the plantar fascia receives too much force at once, or must endure repetitive force for too long, the tissue can overstretch and develop small tears, leading to pain and inflammation.
Morning heel pain is a common symptom of this condition, but pain can also arise when trying to walk again after a long period of inactivity. Once you’ve had a chance to move some, however, the pain typically lessens as the tissue “warms up.”
Pain also doesn’t tend to be as bad during exercise as it is after exercise, for much the same reason as above.
Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?
Athletes tend to have a higher risk for injuring their plantar fascia, especially if they are playing hard in activities that have high impact on the feet. This includes running, dance, and aerobics.
You don’t have to be moving all the time to strain your fascia, though. People who have jobs that require a lot of time standing on hard floors, such as teachers and factory workers, also run higher risks of fasciitis.
Being overweight or having an abnormal foot structure (such as flat feet) can also increase the amount of stress and risk of problems.
What Can We Do About Plantar Fasciitis?
This can’t be stressed enough: the sooner any form of persistent heel pain is evaluated, the easier and more effectively it is likely to be addressed!
In most cases, conservative treatments are often enough to take care of an inflamed plantar fascia within a few months. This may involve periods of rest and icing. A standard pain relieving medication or heel cushioning inserts may also be recommended.
A stretching routine is a frequent recommendation from our office, as well. This will help build strength and flexibility in the calf muscles, that can often pull on the heel bone and, in turn, the plantar fascia when too tight.
In some cases, more advanced treatments may be suggested. These may include the use of night splints or orthopedic taping of the foot to provide additional support of the arch. Cortisone injections may also be administered to help relieve pain and swelling, although best use of these is sparingly.
In situations when an abnormal foot structure or gait is having a big influence in the problem, custom orthotics devices may be forged to help align the feet and take excess pressure off the plantar fascia.
If none of the above measure provide enough relief, or in rare, severe instances, surgery may be considered. This is always considered a last resort and the pros and cons of such a procedure should be fully discussed between a doctor and patient.
Find Relief for Your Heel Pain with Dr. Scudday
Whether the cause of your heel pain is plantar fasciitis or another condition, it always remains best to start treatment sooner than later.
Our two El Paso offices are open to provide you expert care for any foot or ankle problems you may have. Contact us easily by filling out our online form or by calling our offices directly:
- (915) 533-5151 for our 1700 Curie Drive location
- (915) 856-3331 for our 1400 George Dieter location