what is plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Are you experiencing chronic pain in the bottom of your heel or foot? Then you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This degenerative condition affects the plantar fascia. This band of tissue connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. It often feels the worst first thing in the morning, or after a period of inactivity, which is why it is often referred to as “first-step pain”. Keep reading to learn more about this painful condition, what causes it, and how it can be treated at South Shore Foot & Ankle. 

The Cause of Plantar Fasciitis and Common Symptoms

There are many factors that can contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis. It frequently occurs in the feet of runners and those with flat feet or high arches. People who are on their feet a lot, and those who are overweight also commonly experience plantar fasciitis. Women who are pregnant often experience plantar fasciitis later in their pregnancies. Plantar fasciitis develops with overuse of the ligament. A job that keeps you on your feet all day, or an excess of weight putting extra stress on the plantar fascia is typically what causes inflammation. As the fascia loses its elasticity or resilience, you can experience pain that is sharp or dull, and often feels like it extends out from the heel. Unfortunately, the pain typically lasts 6-12 months, but there are things you can do at home to ease the pain and help your foot heal faster. 

What is the Best Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis must be diagnosed by a doctor. We will first do a physical exam, observing how well you are able to flex and point your toe. We will evaluate your muscle tone and health of your nerves, ruling out any other foot problems. Additionally, we may recommend imaging to look at the structures and tissues within your foot. 

If the condition is mild, we will suggest rest, icing, perhaps a brace, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, physical therapy, custom orthotics or night splints that help stretch your foot and calf while you sleep may also be recommended. If relief isn’t found after a few months, corticosteroid or Amniofix® injection treatments may be necessary, which can help regenerate damaged tissue and inhibit scar tissue from forming. Surgery is rarely required, and we will only suggest this if our more conventional treatments have not been effective. 

The Best Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re looking for an entirely new shoe to help alleviate the pain, we highly recommend the brand OOFOS. Their proprietary technology helps absorb impact by 37% and reduces energy exertion in the ankles by 47%. This makes walking much easier and is why we highly recommend them!

If a whole new set of kicks isn’t what you had in mind, a custom orthotic may be the perfect solution. When you’re in extreme pain, a corner drugstore foot insert just won’t cut it. That’s why we work with Footmaxx custom orthotics. The process is incredibly simple. After a thorough examination by one of our expert podiatrists, you’ll take a walk across a digital thermo plate so we can get a better look at your walking stride. This information is sent to a lab where your custom orthotics will be made. 

Let’s Take a Step Forward

Don’t let this pain go untreated. Consequently, you may develop foot, knee, hip or back problems due to changes in the way you walk. If you are suffering from pain in the foot or heel, schedule an appointment to be evaluated. Together, our team of board-certified podiatrists can develop a treatment plan to alleviate your heel and foot pain. 

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