You jump out of bed in the morning and searing pain along the soles of your feet and in your heels greet your first steps, eventually subsiding as you move more. This symptom is the hallmark of a condition called plantar fasciitis, and we explore this condition here.
Here’s a look at what causes the pain and how we can go about bringing you relief.
Plantar fasciitis 101
In each of your feet, you have a band of tissue called the plantar fascia that stretches from the base of your toes to your heel. This tissue is a ligament that provides support for the arches in your feet.
With plantar fasciitis, your plantar fascia becomes inflamed due to damage, overuse, and/or tiny tears that develop in the tissue. This inflammation tends to set in when you’re not using your foot, so that when you place pressure on it again, the ligament is stiffer than normal and objects, painfully, to the stretching action.
In most cases, this pain subsides as your plantar fascia stretches out again. There are longer-term problems that can develop because of plantar fasciitis, such as the development of bone spurs in your heel, which can exacerbate the discomfort.
The causes of plantar fasciitis
Each year, about two million people in the United States are treated for this painful foot condition, and it often strikes for no known reason.
That said, there are a few factors that may place you more at risk for developing plantar fasciitis, such as:
- Short calf muscles
- High arches
- Carrying extra weight
- Repetitive stresses (think running)
- A sudden increase or change in your activity levels
Again, even people who don’t meet any of these criteria can develop this foot condition, so it may be difficult to answer the title of this blog post about why you have plantar fasciitis. No matter how your plantar fasciitis developed, however, the good news is that we offer many treatment options.
Treating plantar fasciitis
If we diagnose you with plantar fasciitis, there are several ways we can alleviate the pain. For starters, it’s important that you rest and use ice on the tissue to allow time for the ligament to heal without inflammation.
You can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, which can also help reduce the inflammation. If your discomfort is moderate to severe, we can administer corticosteroid injections that address both the pain and the inflammation.
We may also suggest custom orthotics and/or night splints, which can relieve the pressure on your plantar fascia.
At our practice, we offer full physical therapy services, which go a long way toward helping your plantar fascia to heal through gentle stretching exercises.
If your plantar fascia are slow to heal, we may recommend regenerative medicine to help provide a boost in resources that heal and repair the tissues.
Ultimately, we typically treat your plantar fasciitis using a combination of therapies that help the ligament to heal more quickly and strongly, putting that spring back into your step again.
If you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis and you want relief, schedule an appointment at our office in Westfield, New Jersey, by clicking here.