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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By contactus
January 03, 2012
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Plantar Fasciitis          

 

Are you experiencing heel or arch pain that is worst with your first few steps in the morning? Is the pain worse when putting weight on the painful foot and somewhat relieved by sitting and rubbing the heel? Does this pain tend to go away with time as you walk more and more throughout the day? If you answered yes, there is a distinct possibility that you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, and I have a solution to your painful problems.

 

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue on the bottom of each of your feet that is attached to the heel bone towards the back of your foot and to your toes toward the front of your foot.

                                            

This band helps provide support to the foot bones and helps maintain normal arches in your feet. If you have a biomechanical malfunction in your feet or if you walk around too often without shoes or in shoes that do not provide appropriate support, this plantar fascial band of tissue can be forced into an abnormally stretched position. You may be able to feel this stretching in the bottom of your foot and arch area as you walk. As the plantar fascia is stretched too far, it begins to weaken and possibly tear. The plantar fascia also tries to pull away from its attachment on the heel bone. This causes inflammation and possibly severe pain, and often makes the bottom of your heel bone feel tender and painful if you were to push on it or squeeze it.

 

There are many treatment options available for plantar fasciitis, depending on severity and the cause of the abnormal plantar fascial stretching in the first place. Initial treatment may include an injection at my office to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation, followed by anti-inflammatory medications, rest and ice daily. One way to ice the area is to freeze a filled water bottle, then roll the bottom of your foot over the bottle for 15 minutes. This will help ice the area to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stretch the plantar fascia more naturally. You also want to “warm up” your plantar fascia before your first steps in the morning by stretching your feet and calf muscles before walking. One common method is to roll the bottom of your foot over a tennis ball on the ground for a few moments.

                                       

Other treatments include custom-made orthotic devices, which will help control the function of the foot with each step and stop the abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia. Treatment may also include physical therapy, such as deep-heating ultrasound, massage therapy, strengthening the foot and leg muscles, and stretching exercises to stretch your calf muscles (see my blog about how to stretch your calf muscles on November 29, 2011). In severe and chronic cases, surgery may be necessary, but is certainly not the first option.

 

The most important thing to remember is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH FOOT PAIN!! Pain is caused by some abnormal function within the body, and in the case of plantar fasciitis, it is usually an easy, although possibly lengthy, fix. Once you start treatment for plantar fasciitis, including rest, it is very important to stay with the treatment plan until all pain and tenderness is resolved, as this type of injury can easily reoccur. During or after treatment, it is usually a good idea to obtain a pair of custom made orthoses from my office to make sure this nagging heel pain does not continue to flare its ugly head. Please call my office today if you are experiencing this or any other type of foot pain or non-painful problems. 

 

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