If you’ve been feeling pain or discomfort in your heel, you might have something called Plantar Fasciitis. It’s a common cause of heel pain in adults, and for most patients, it’s usually most severe when they take their first few steps in the morning.  

In this blog, the Arlington podiatrists at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center will give you an in-depth look at the signs, causes and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Give us a call today and we can set you up with the right steps for pain management and treatment. You shouldn’t have to live your life in pain!

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the connective tissue at the bottom of your foot from your heel bone to the toes. It’s very common, as more than 3 million patients in the U.S. report on having plantar fasciitis every year.

What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused by tension and stress on your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is essentially a shock-absorbing bowstring that supports the arch in your foot, and if that bowstring carries too much stress, it can tear or break.

Unfortunately, in many cases of plantar fasciitis, the cause isn’t always clear. There are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. They include the following:

  • Age — Most patients are between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Certain types of exercise or occupations — Exercises such as running, jumping, ballet and dancing usually put a lot of stress on your heel area. Also, those with jobs that require being on their feet all day, such as teachers, nurses or factory workers, are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis.
  • Obesity — Carrying a lot of excess weight can add to the stress of your plantar fascia.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually causes patients a stabbing pain in the bottom of their foot near the heel area. It’s not always painful, but patients typically complain of mild to severe discomfort on a daily basis — usually in the morning.

Pain can be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a sitting position, according to the Mayo Clinic, and most patients feel the pain after they exercise rather than during exercise.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed based on your medical history and a physical examination conducted by your doctor. During your exam, your doctor might check for tender areas in your foot.

Usually, no imaging tests are necessary when determining if you have plantar fasciitis or not. If your doctor thinks you have something other than plantar fasciitis, such as a stress fracture or pinched nerve, they might suggest an x-ray or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Working with a highly trained and highly qualified podiatry doctor is essential in treating plantar fasciitis. You and your specialist will find the treatment that works best for you, which may include some of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Specific types of stretching
  • Icing the area
  • Orthotics, such as shoe inserts
  • Physical Therapy

If your pain doesn’t disappear after several weeks of treatment, your specialist might suggest Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment, which uses pressure waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. In worst case scenarios, you might need surgery for your plantar fasciitis.

Find The Right Podiatrist

At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, we know struggling with plantar fasciitis can be painful. The goal for our team of highly trained experts is to provide you relief from your discomfort. If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, please contact our Arlington or Dallas offices for your initial consultation today!