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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
February 12, 2016

What could you possibly share with the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history? Peyton Manning suffers from a common foot ailment, plantar fasciitis, which also afflicts many of our patients at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when excessive stress and pressure is put on the plantar fascia, causing small tears and overstretching of the ligament, resulting in inflammation and irritation. In Manning’s case, overuse due to repetitive stretching of the plantar fascia from all the pushing off and running in his football career are a large part of the cause of the condition.

The classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis are a stabbing pain in the heel that is particularly bad first thing in the morning and then abates as you start walking and stretching your foot. (This is because the plantar fascia tightens up overnight while you sleep.) You may also notice the pain returning after you have been sitting for a long period of time or are on your feet for extended periods.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

For those of us who are not star football players, there are other risk factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Structural defects in your foot: flat feet or having an overly high arch puts tension on the plantar fascia
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support
  • Being overweight or pregnant
  • Beginning a new exercise routine or sport too quickly
  • Having a job that requires that you be on your feet for long periods of time, particularly standing or walking on hard surfaces
  • Tight calve muscles
  • Age: plantar fasciitis is most prevalent in people between the ages of 40-60

Getting Relief

Our board certified foot doctor, Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, will most likely be able to diagnose plantar fasciitis based on your medical history and an examination of your foot. In some cases, x-rays will be ordered (which can be done right here in our Southwestern PA office) to rule out other causes of heel pain.  Treatment for plantar fasciitis is focused on relieving your symptoms-- usually through rest, icing and the use of anti-inflammatory medications—and then trying to work on reducing the stress on the plantar fascia. This can be done with stretching, physical therapy, custom orthotics and night splints to keep the ligament stretched while you sleep.

Don’t let plantar fasciitis keep you from scoring big in your daily life. Contact our Washington office today and get started on a plan for pain-free living. 

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