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By Dr. Phil Pinsker
October 25, 2011
Category: Foot Injuries
Tags: Heel pain  

The Plantar Fascia is a ligament on the bottom of the foot that runs from the heel to the toes.  It helps to support the foot and acts as a shock absorber when stepping.  Pain on the bottom of the foot is commonly caused by inflammation or irritation of this ligament, known as Plantar Fasciitis.  Heel spurs are frequently seen with Plantar Fasciitis, although they are considered separate injuries and often require different treatments

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include pain with walking, especially near the heel or the arched area of the foot.  The pain is often worse in the morning when first starting to walk around because the ligament has not been allowed to stretch and remain loose throughout the night. Additionally, the pain can be brought on by more intense strain to the ligament, while running long distances or with frequent jumping.  Having high arches, flat feet, problems with obesity, tight calf muscles or Achille’s Tendon problems are all common risk factors associated with Plantar Fasciitis. 

Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis ranges from wearing proper shoes for the occasion, such as well-fitted running or walking shoes, managing weight to decrease stress on the ligament, and practicing proper stretching techniques before and after a walk or exercise regimen.

 Once Plantar Fasciitis has been diagnosed by your podiatrist, there are a number of treatment possibilities that may be employed to return your feet to good health.  Rest and ice are very important as with any other strain-like injury.  Custom fitted orthotics may be beneficial to give the arch a little extra support and reduce the strains of jumping, walking or excess weight. We may fit you for a night splint to help keep the ligament from cramping, or tightening back up overnight.  In some situations, conservative therapy will not work and either steroid injections or a surgical procedure to loosen the plantar fascia may be necessary.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, or other foot problems that are disturbing your daily activities, please contact us so we can get you on the road to having pain-free, happy feet.

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