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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the tissue located on the bottom of your foot that runs from the bottom of your toes all the way to the back of the heel bone. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it is known as plantar fasciitis. This can cause major discomfort and worsen if not treated properly.

At A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center, our team has extensive knowledge and experience with plantar fasciitis. Over the years, we have found several different treatment options that can get you back on your feet comfortably in no time. Contact one of our offices today to schedule a consultation!

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

While the overall symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the foot, most commonly near the heel, many people wonder if they are indeed suffering from plantar fasciitis or some other foot problem. Another common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a tingling or burning feeling in the foot. Fortunately, there are a few at-home tests you can perform to deduct whether the symptoms you are experiencing are truly plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are suffering from moderate to severe pain anywhere in your feet, contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to start your journey to relief! 

Tender Heel Test - Firmly press on the bottom of your heel. In many plantar fasciitis cases, this will cause the pain to increase. This is a good test to help identify if the pain is actually originating from near the heel.

Foot/Ankle Flex Test - Flex your foot and ankle, pointing your toes upward as far as possible towards your shin. If you experience an increase in discomfort or pain during this test, it may be a sign of plantar fasciitis. 

Prolonged Rest Test This test you may have already performed without thinking about it. You may experience pain after sitting or laying down for an extended period of time as this causes the plantar fascia to contract. 

Prolonged Activity Test Similar to the prolonged rest test, being on your feet and stretching the plantar fascia for an extended period of time can also cause an increase in pain if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Weight Test Take note if you begin to limp in an attempt to avoid putting weight on the foot due to an increase in pain and discomfort. Weight can often cause plantar fasciitis to become more evident in many cases.

Are You At Risk?

While we know that plantar fasciitis is a condition of the plantar fascia becoming inflamed, it is still uncertain exactly what causes the condition. However, with extensive research, there are some common factors that leave some individuals at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis than others. Contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today with any questions or concerns about the risk factors associated with plantar fasciitis!

Gender

Studies show that females are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than males. The exact reason for this is still uncertain, but is often blamed on pregnancy and poor footwear. Take note that men are not exempt as the condition has affected much of the male population over the years too. 

foot mechanics

While the shape and positioning of your feet is something that you are often born with or develop at a very early age, it can become a major factor of foot problems later in life. People that are flat-footed as well as those that have extremely high arches are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. 

exercise

While exercise is extremely important when it comes to staying fit and healthy, it is vital that you are being cautious about sudden changes to your exercise routine and performing exercises that could be damaging to the plantar fascia, such as overstretching or overworking the tissue.

Age

As an individual ages, they are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. This is due to the fact that the inflammation of the plantar fascia is caused by small tears that tend to happen with extended use over time. If you are between 40 and 60 years of age, you are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. 

walking type

Your specific foot mechanics and the positioning of your feet also play a role in how you walk. Different walking types are more susceptible to developing foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. Walking flat-footed, bow-legged, or knock-kneed often affects the plantar fascia tissue. 

occupation

Your occupation can also play a major role in the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. It has been proven that individuals that are required to be on their feet the majority of the day are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis, as the constant use causes the tissue to wear out at a faster rate. 

Weight

Individuals that are overweight are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This extra weight puts strain on the plantar fascia tissue, causing it to become overstretched, thin, and susceptible to tears and damage which could lead to the irritation and inflammation known as plantar fasciitis. 

footwear

Failing to wear footwear that supports good foot health or corrective footwear for those with additional foot problems can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis as well. This pertains to wearing high-heeled shoes too often, as well as wearing shoes with little to no arch support.

achilles tendon

The Achilles tendon directly affects the foot and its functionality. Individuals with tight Achilles tendons are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis, as this condition can lead to a tightness in the plantar fascia tissue as well — making it easier to overstretch or overwork the tissue. 

Treating 
Plantar Fasciitis

It is important to implement proper treatment for plantar fasciitis as quickly as possible to avoid the pain or damage to the plantar fascia from getting worse. There are many home remedies and tips that can help relieve pain caused by plantar fasciitis as well as over-the-counter medications and surgical procedures for severe cases. Contact one of our three A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center offices today to schedule an appointment and figure out what the best treatment option is for your specific situation!

Simple Ways to relieve
Plantar Fasciitis Pain

1. Rest/ice

Getting off your feet and applying an ice pack can help an overstretched plantar fascia tissue heal while ice will keep inflammation down.

2. stretching

Stretching helps keep your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia from getting too tight, while also strengthening the surrounding muscles.

3. athletic tape

If your plantar fasciitis is caused by overstretching your plantar fascia, athletic tape can help stabilize your feet and ankles while active.

4. night splints

Night splints are another way to help your plantar fascia from contracting and tightening while you are off your feet, specifically at night.

5. functional orthotics

Use an elastic bandage to stabilize the injured area, while reducing blood flow and swelling.

6. oTC medications

Placing the injured area above the heart will also assist in preventing further swelling.

Advanced Treatment Options

If you are suffering from a severe case of plantar fasciitis and the previously mentioned methods are not relieving the pain, treatment may require an advanced procedure or plantar fasciitis surgery to resolve the problem. Advanced procedures include noninvasive orthotripsy, which is a type of shock wave therapy that has proven to be effective in many cases of heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Additionally, if no other treatment options have helped relieve the pain and discomfort of your plantar fasciitis, surgery can be done to disconnect the plantar fascia tissue from the heel bone. Contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to learn more about these advanced treatment options!

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Preventing Plantar fasciitis

With heel pain affecting roughly 10% of Americans, plantar fasciitis is a foot problem that you should be aware of and understand the steps you can take to help prevent getting the condition or at least help reduce the symptoms. Contact your local podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today for more information! 

  • Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
    Understand what the healthy weight range is for you specifically and work to maintain a body weight within that range. Additionally, watch what your diet consists of to avoid food types that cause inflammation.  
  • Perform Low-Impact Exercises
    While working hard to maintain a healthy weight, choose low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling — both of which are extremely beneficial when it comes to strengthening multiple areas of your body.
  • Stretch Consistently 
    As we mentioned earlier, stretching out your feet and calves can help them continue to function properly and build up the muscles to stabilize the plantar fascia and prevent tears and damage to the tissue.
  • Wear Proper Footwear
    First off, avoid going barefoot for long periods of time as your feet need the support of shoes. Secondly, be sure that you are choosing the proper footwear — supportive and stabilizing — especially while exercising. 
  • Don’t Tuck Bed Sheets
    Tucking in the sheet at the end of your bed can cause unnatural stretching and straining of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. By simply keeping the bed sheets untucked, you can prevent this potential harm.
  • Regular Check-Ups
    Lastly, schedule and maintain regular check-ups with your local podiatrist to ensure the overall wellness of your feet. This can also help catch any potential foot problems early on, including plantar fasciitis. 

Choosing A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center

 

A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center is staffed by some of the best foot and ankle doctors in the region. With offices located in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Cheyenne, our team of professionals is here for you whenever you need us!

We not only have the ability to create custom functional orthotics for our patients, but we also perform noninvasive orthotripsy right here in our offices to provide you with convenient and professional treatment options for your plantar fasciitis as well as numerous other foot problems. We understand the pain and discomfort that plantar fasciitis can cause and how it can interrupt your daily life. You aren’t alone and we want to help you find the right solution to fit your needs. Contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to schedule an appointment and receive relief from your foot and heel pain! 

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