The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, providing crucial structural support that helps you walk. When this band becomes inflamed, it creates an extremely painful condition called plantar fasciitis. Below is an introduction to this condition, as well as its causes, symptoms, and common treatments.
When the plantar fascia is overstretched and overtaxed, microscopic or frank tears in the tissue produce irritation and inflammation. Overweight individuals or pregnant women can be more prone to developing this condition because there is added weight and pressure on the fascia. Those involved in physically demanding jobs that keep them on their feet as well as hobbies, such as athletics, running, exercise walking, weight training, and sports which increase pressure on the plantar fascia, can increase the likelihood of tears and inflammation. Certain foot problems, such as high arches, flat or pronating feet or tight muscles can also overwork the fascia and result in plantar fasciitis.
The biggest symptom is pain in the heel or arch. The pain can be excruciating and sometimes unbearable. In most people, the pain is centered in the front or middle of the heel. One of the hallmarks of this condition is pain that worsens after sleep or rest, so that once weight is on the feet the pain is quite bad. During physical activity, the pain is usually less noticeable and only returns or worsens once the activity has stopped. A tingling or burning sensation is also an indication of this condition.
In mild cases, rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers may help relieve plantar fasciitis. But since the pain accompanying this condition can be intense, more rigorous treatment is often advised. A podiatrist will review your symptoms, perform tests, and develop a treatment plan catered to your specific needs. In Dr. Robert Kornfeld’s office, this plan might include homeopathic injections (which stimulate the pathway of repair), physical therapy such as high-voltage electrical stimulation (which forces more blood into the injured ligament and facilitates more rapid healing), customized foot orthotics (which is often all that is necessary in certain individuals) and prolotherapy or PRP for more resistant cases. Additionally, a change in diet to eliminate inflammatory foods and increased hydration along with a specific exercise routine to strengthen weak muscles and ease the stress on tight muscles (through stretching routines) may be recommended.
Treating plantar fasciitis promptly will help keep pain levels to a minimum and keep your feet in good structural condition. Chronic Foot Pain Center provides an efficient holistic approach to resolve acute and chronic foot and ankle pain. With nearly 40 years of experience, foot specialist Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld is committed to providing residents in Murray Hill and Port Washington, NY, with lasting relief from all types of foot-related issues, including plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, neuromas, neuropathy, arthritis, bunions, torn ligaments and all other conditions resulting in foot or ankle pain. To schedule an appointment, call (516) 369-3172 or visit his website to read his approach to plantar fasciitis.