Do you experience sharp, jolting heel pain as soon as you get out of the bed in the morning or when you start moving again after long periods of inactivity? Have you come to expect similar pain after going for a run or a long day of standing at work?
If these symptoms sound familiar, you might have plantar fasciitis. This is one of the most common causes of heel pain, but also one that will frequently respond well to conservative treatments. Most patients will experience substantial-to-complete relief of their heel pain within several months!
What is Plantar Fasciitis? What Causes It?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the base of the toes to your heel bone (calcaneus). It runs along the underside of the foot and helps form the arch.
This band flexes as you walk, storing and releasing energy that helps you move. It is typically very strong, but can still be susceptible to damage and overuse.
When the plantar fascia becomes overstretched or overstrained, it can develop very small tears in the tissue, leading to consistent irritation and discomfort. Such injuries can occur due to:
- Physical activity that either places too much stress on the plantar fascia all at once, or subjects it to repetitive impacts over time without providing enough time for rest and recovery.
- Jobs and routines that require lots of walking or standing – especially on hard surfaces.
- Abnormalities in foot structure that cause weight to be improperly focused on the plantar fascia.
- An excess of bodyweight bearing down on the plantar fascia.
How Do You Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis?
The most effective way to treat plantar fasciitis is to first determine the source (or sources) of the problem. Only by addressing the underlying factors directly can you expect to see significant results. Otherwise, your plantar fascia will continue to be under stress!
We will conduct a thorough examination and ask questions about your symptoms, such as how they tend to feel and when you tend to feel them most often. Once we have a firm understanding of your situation, we can then recommend a course of treatment to best fit your needs.
Parts of a treatment plan may include:
- Rest and ice
- Anti-inflammatory pain relievers (Advil, Aleve, etc.)
- Custom orthotics to properly redistribute weight across the feet
- Night splints to hold the plantar fascia in a better position overnight, reducing morning pain
- Advanced therapies such as EPAT, MLS laser therapy, and Aquaroll to accelerate pain relief and healing
Surgery may only be considered in rare cases when conservative treatments such as those above fail to yield the results we are looking for.
We Have the Expertise for Treating Heel Pain
Heel pain does not need to inconvenience your life any more than it already has. If you live in Chicagoland, contact one of our local offices to schedule an appointment and receive the help you need. Find contact information for all of our seven offices below, and you are also welcome to contact us online.