According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, plantar fasciitis impacts more than 3 million individuals annually. It’s also the leading cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition that occurs when the plantar fascia deteriorates. Specifically, it affects the area where your plantar fascia is connected to your heel bone’s bottom portion. If you think you have plantar fasciitis, our doctors here at the Foot Associates at Cherry Foot Clinic in Denver, CO, Dr. Florin Costache and Dr. Lorry Melnick, can determine what’s causing it and what you can do about it.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Similar to most degenerative conditions, plantar fasciitis results from the wear and tear of the fascia fibers. The most leading cause involves tissue strain from a certain activity combined with insufficient or improper flexibility of your calf muscle and Achilles tendon. Other common causes are heel bone stress fractures, pinched heel nerves or thinning heel fat pads.
What is Chronic and Acute Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can be chronic or acute. Acute plantar fasciitis is typically triggered by a particular injury. Chronic plantar fasciitis, on the other hand, is characterized by symptoms that worsen over time.
How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis?
The most telltale signs of plantar fasciitis include pain on your heel’s bottom portion, particularly when walking for the first time upon waking. In most cases, this pain will improve but then get worse later on as you use the affected foot throughout the day. Essentially, this occurs because the plantar fascia is overstressed and causes a persistent healing response that might stay sore for months on end.
When Should I Seek Help?
If your symptoms were brought on by a specific injury or episode and persist for more than a week even after icing and resting the affected foot, visit your podiatrist in Denver, CO, as soon as possible. Likewise, because most plantar fasciitis cases are usually chronic, and symptoms gradually appear, and then starts to worsen over time, visit your podiatrist, especially when your condition is starting to affect your quality of life.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Our podiatrists usually recommend conservative, noninvasive treatments for most plantar fasciitis cases. One such treatment is proper stretching exercises to alleviate the pain without damaging the plantar fasciitis’ structural integrity. You may also be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen to aid in minimizing inflammation and pain. In addition, soft orthotics, heel cups, and cushioned soled shoes are very useful in easing symptoms or most people. But if your symptoms don’t improve within 12 weeks of following a noninvasive treatment plan, your podiatrist may recommend corticosteroid injections. If all else fails, you may be a candidate for surgery.
Think You May Be Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis?
Call the Foot Associates at Cherry Foot Clinic in Denver, CO, at (303) 355-1695 to schedule a visit with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Florin Costache or Dr. Lorry Melnick.