There’s nothing quite like taking to your feet, only to be met by stabbing pain in the soles of your feet and in your heels. This pain, which often occurs in the morning when you first get out of bed, is the hallmark of a condition called plantar fasciitis.
The good news is that there are ways we can help you walk without pain again.
Our team of multi-disciplinary health care providers at LaSante Health Center includes podiatrists, whose expertise allows us to address foot and ankle problems of all kinds.
If the above description of plantar fasciitis sounds familiar, read on to learn how this condition develops and what we can do to put that spring back in your step.
Plantar fasciitis basics
Along the soles of each foot is a tough band of ligament called the plantar fascia, which stretches from the ball of your foot to the heel. These tissues provide support for the arches in your feet and act as shock absorbers when you’re walking, running, and jumping.
When you have plantar fasciitis, small tears develop in your plantar fascia that lead to inflammation in the tissue. In addition to the soft tissue inflammation, your heel bone may develop bone spurs as a way to protect itself, which only adds to your discomfort.
The reason plantar fasciitis pain flares in the morning (or after you’ve been off your feet for prolonged periods) is that inflammation sets in, and when you take your first steps, the tissue stretches out painfully. This pain does subside quickly as you move around.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition. Approximately 2 million people in the United States seek help for the condition each year.
In most of these cases, overuse or overstress are the culpritss. For example, plantar fasciitis can occur if you suddenly increase your running distance or you take up a new sport that involves considerable jumping.
In addition to changes in your activities, plantar fasciitis can develop if you stand for long periods or if you’re carrying too many extra pounds.
Structural issues can also play a role, as people with flat feet or high arches are more prone to plantar fasciitis. And if your calf muscles are overly tight, this can pull on your plantar fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis.
Treating plantar fasciitis
As with most overuse injuries, the frontline treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves a period of rest so the tissues have time to heal.
Outside of rest, we recommend taking anti-inflammatory medications and using ice packs to help ease the discomfort and inflammation. A great tip for icing your plantar fascia is to freeze a bottle of water and then roll it under your foot.
Targeted stretches are also key to reducing inflammation in your plantar fascia and preventing the condition from recurring. To get started, click here.
We also recommend custom orthotics to help provide support for your plantar fascia, and you can wear splints at night that keep your plantar fascia stretched out.
If the pain doesn’t respond to the measures above, we can turn to corticosteroid injections to relieve the pain and inflammation in your plantar fascia.
As you can see, there are many approaches to plantar fasciitis.
To figure out which treatments are best for your plantar fasciitis, contact our Brooklyn, New York, clinic. We serve the Flatbush and East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Little Haiti, Little Caribbean, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.