Heel pain is the most common presenting symptom of Plantar Fasciitis. In fact, it is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Plantar fasciitis presents as a sharp stabbing pain that is usually felt in the morning. Upon waking up, the first steps you take triggers the pain. It is also present after routine exercises when your feet are at rest. It is not common during the act of exercise but after completing the exercise. Sometimes, it is difficult to raise your toes, which can increase the pain.
Anatomy of the Heel
The heel has a group of thick connecting tissues that run across the bottom of the foot. This band of tissue connects your toes (also known as plantar fascia) to your heel bone.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The shape of the plantar fascia or the group of tissues at the bottom of your foot is like a thick web-like bowstring. Its main purpose is to absorb pressure and supports the arch of your foot while walking or running. When the plantar fascia goes through constant pressure, it can damage the ligaments. It may become inflamed which results in stiffness, foot and heel pain.
Onset of Symptoms
When there is inflammation in the connecting tissues of the platar side of the foot, it can cause heel pain to become evident. It usually radiates from your toes to the bottom of your foot and towards the heel bone. You can feel heel pain upon waking up in the morning, after prolonged standing or sitting position and after exercise routines. Pain may decrease when you get up and get moving in the morning. The slow stretching usually helps to reduce the pain.
This painful condition is more common in runners, those who are overweight, flat-footed people and people who wear inappropriate shoe design.
Who are at risk of Plantar Fasciitis?
Not everyone will experience Plantar Fasciitis. There are certain groups of people who have higher risks of developing heel pain. Here are some indications that you might be susceptible to Plantar Fasciitis.
- Men and women around the age of 40 to 70 years old
- Athletic and active in sports and fitness
- Exercising on hard surfaces.
- Women who are in their late pregnancies
- Overweight or obese men and women
- Marathon and ultra-marathon enthusiasts are also prone to developing heel pain
- People with very high foot arch or very flat foot arch can also experience plantar fasciitis.
- Tight Achilles tendons may also contribute to the pain.
- Men and women who wear shoes that lack cushion or proper feet support.
- Those who overstretch their foot sole during exercise
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
When you have ongoing pain on the undersurface of the foot or heel you may need an evaluation by a healthcare provider. Evaluation will include examination of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints in the foot and ankle.
Diagnostic tests, if necessary, might include x-ray or possibly an MRI examination.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis, it is important that you find treatment to resolve the issue. Proper conservative treatment can typically resolve the condition.
Dr. Brent Ungar, located in Canton OH, uses cold laser therapy for platar fasciitis treatment. This type of drug-free therapy can help to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and restore proper blood flow into the area for healing.
You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Ungar by clling 330-493-0009.