Experiencing stabbing pain in your heel as soon as you get out of bed in the morning? Feel like you need to tiptoe around your home after sitting for a long period of time?
Does the pain subside after a few minutes of walking around on pins and needles? If you can relate to these situations, you might be suffering from an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Caused by increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments, pain can strike at any time, although there are a few risk factors that could make the condition more likely to occur.
These risk factors include sudden weight gain, regular high impact activity, tighter calf muscles, obesity, and a very high arch. While all these factors can contribute to the problem, in most instances, plantar fasciitis develops without a specific, identifiable reason. For example, anything from wearing a new pair of shoes to a missed step could be the catalyst.
As mentioned previously, one of the most persistent symptoms of plantar fasciitis is intense pain at the bottom of the heel. While some people also experience pain in their mid-foot region, all affected individuals report that the condition gradually grows more bothersome over time. Pain usually isn’t felt during prolonged walks or exercise, however, as it usually occurs after stopping.
Sensations can range from a dull ache to sharp pain and for some people, it only affects one foot, while others experience these symptoms in both. In addition to the initial irritation, some people also report feeling burning or more aching extending outward from the heel area.
Home Treatment and Prevention
To begin treating this condition at home, try to stay off your feet and apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes a few times a day to help with swelling. Taking ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce inflammation and stretching out the foot may also bring some relief.
Helpful prevention tips include maintaining a healthy weight, wearing supportive shoes, relying on arch supports or other orthotics, switching to a low-impact sport or exercise routine, and replacing old athletic shoes.
When to See Us
Sometimes home treatments and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication just won’t fully ease the pain. If this is the case, it might be time to seek out medical help, especially if the condition worsens.
For periodic pain or for sudden or severe plantar fasciitis problems, please come in to see our office podiatrist, Dr. Brad Gipson. He will gladly find the ideal treatment plan for your condition.
How We Treat This Condition
When it’s time to come in and see us, your treatment will consist of therapy exercises to stretch the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon. We may also encourage you to take oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or will conduct injections into your heel.
Most people experience relief after weeks or months of physical therapy. If you are still experiencing pain, we may recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy or even surgery in highly severe cases, however this latter course of action is very rare.
Stop walking around in pain and don’t let your plantar fasciitis keep you down! To make your appointment today, call us at(865) 769-9685. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to our Newsletter for more information during Foot Health Month.