Have you heard of Plantar Fasciitis ? This term which is unknown to many of the population, is all too familiar to those who suffer from it. In fact, millions of people are believed to have it, and the American Podiatric Medical Association has said that it has reached “almost epidemic levels”. So what is Plantar Fasciitis and how is it treated?
Plantar Fasciitis is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot , to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.
- Faulty Foot Structure- Overpronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. Those with high-arched feet are also more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
- Non-supportive footwear – Wearing shoes that are not supportive on hard, flat surfaces for extended periods of time puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Obesity and Overuse- These may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
- Swelling on the bottom of the heel
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they have been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. For some people, the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
- Stretching exercises. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery.
- Avoid going barefoot. Shoes offer much needed support. Without shoes you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.
- Ice. Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation.
- Limit activities. Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
- Shoe modifications. Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
- Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Padding, taping and strapping. Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.
- Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.
- Injection therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
- Removable walking cast. A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.
- Night splint. Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.
- Physical therapy. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.
- Surgery . Most respond to nonsurgical treatment, but if other treatments are not helping surgery is an option.
Dr. Kylin Kovac also offers MLS Laser Pain Treatment for patients with certain foot and ankle conditions including neuropathy , arthritis, injuries , and plantar fasciitis . The treatment is pain free and has no known side effects.
MLS Laser Treatment has many benefits:
- Accelerated Tissue Repair and Cell Growth
- Trigger Points and Acupuncture Points
- Improved Nerve Function
- Faster Wound Healing
Find out more about MLS Laser Pain Treatment by visiting http://www.idahofootandanklecenter.com/mls-laser-pain-therapy . If you have concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kovac is committed to improving your foot and ankle health concerns through both conservative and surgical methods. He is highly qualified and ready to get you back on your feet!
Some content provided byThe Boston Globe, and The ACFAS.