Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue that travels across the bottom of your foot and attaches from your heel bone to your toes. Symptoms are commonly associated with a stabbing pain that usually occurs with you take your first few steps in the morning or from periods of inactivity. Once the affected foot warms up, the pain typically diminishes, but can return after prolonged standing. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and wear shoes with inappropriate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. Faulty foot mechanics can also contribute to a painful heel. By changing your gait to minimize your heel pain, you may in turn develop other problems including knee, hip or even back problems.
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis or heel pain is made based upon your podiatrist performing a complete history and physical examination. Sometimes an x-ray or MRI study may be used to rule out other foot problems like a stress fracture, heel spur or impinged nerve. A bone spur may be present on the x-ray extending out from your heel bone. Most patients suffering from plantar fasciitis recover quite well from conservative treatments within a few months. When conservative measures are not working well, Dr. Frenchman might recommend other procedures including extracorporeal shock wave therapy and custom molded orthotics. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment today if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.