Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
So your heels are causing you pain.
Maybe you were getting up after a couple hours of watching your favorite TV series or perhaps you were simply waking up in the morning after hitting the snooze button way too many times, when suddenly there’s a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel.
Yes – after a few minutes the pain may go away (for now), but that doesn’t mean that it is normal or you should dismiss it as “not a big deal.” In fact, heel pain is usually a sign of a more serious underlying condition: plantar fasciitis.
And hoping the pain will eventually stop will likely only make matters worse!
Plantar fasciitis is the most common foot condition we treat at our office and is essentially an inflammation of the wide band of connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia and it helps support your arch, while also providing cushioning and impact absorption from athletic activities and general exercise.
But whether you are an athletic individual or an admitted couch potato, plantar fasciitis will not discriminate – it can cause you pain even when you are simply standing or taking a stroll.
The bottom line is that this condition can keep you from doing the things you love, no matter if that includes morning jogs or simply walking from the living room to the kitchen for a delicious (and hopefully healthy!) snack.
If you suffer from this problem, the good news is that our team of experts at Community Foot Clinic of McPherson is always here to help you with all foot and ankle problems.
In this blog post, you will find important information on plantar fasciitis, including the signs and symptoms you should be on the lookout for, as well as how you can treat and prevent this painful condition.
So let’s dive into it!
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The reality is that there are a number of causes associated with plantar fasciitis. But, in general, anything that puts extra stress on your feet, like poorly cushioned or ill-fitting shoes, can lead to the development of this soft tissue injury.
If you are on your feet all day for work or perhaps you’re passionate about sports and being active, then your feet experience a lot of repetitive stress and pressure from standing, running, jumping, and/or twisting. And this all translates into you being at a higher risk from suffering injuries to your feet and ankles, injuries just like plantar fasciitis.
Your weight and age may also affect your plantar fascia – middle-aged adults and people who are overweight tend to be more prone to developing this condition.
Even things that you can’t help, like your genetics, can contribute to plantar fasciitis. If you have structural foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet, you may also be at risk.
So What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Patients often report experiencing pain when they first wake up in the morning and get out of bed. Those very first steps will typically produce extreme pain, then subside after a few minutes of walking. Others feel pain throughout the day and after sitting for long periods of time. In these cases, discomfort also begins pretty intensely and subsides given time.
Below are the more general symptoms of plantar fasciitis:
- Heel pain. A stabbing pain is often felt in the heel area, on the underside of the foot.
- Arch inflammation and pain. You may experience a burning and tingling sensation on the bottom of your foot. This can extend to the back of your heel.
- Foot stiffening. You may have difficulty bending your foot back and forth without considerable pain and discomfort.
If these symptoms sound familiar to you, there is no need to panic – there are steps you can take to help prevent this issue from becoming permanent. And if your heel pain has already become a fixture in your everyday life, we can help you too! There are many treatment options available for you at our Kansas offices.
How to Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are suffering from heel pain, your best course of action is to come visit one of our three Kansas offices and let our team of experts determine the root cause of the problem. Treatment will depend on your specific situation, but most methods include:
- Rest. Elevate the foot and avoid physical activities for as long as possible until the pain subsides.
- Apply ice to the area in pain. Make sure to use a thin towel to protect your skin.
- Activity Modifications. Switching to low-impact activities, like cycling and swimming will help reduce the stress on your heels.
- Footwear Modifications. Opt for shoes with better arch support, well-cushioned soles, and improved shock absorption.
- Custom orthotics will provide the cushion and support your arches need in order to be comfortable and pain free.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen or naproxen in order to reduce pain (these may even be prescribed).
- Foot Exercises. Stretching your calves and doing toe exercises can directly improve your ligament and will help make it more flexible.
- Arch Tapping. This will allow the arch to settle where it needs to be without putting excessive force on your feet.
- Excessive weight puts unnecessary stress on your plantar fascia – keep your weight at a healthy level to avoid extra stress on your heels.
Of course, this list is not meant as a guide for self-diagnosis and treatment. It is important that you seek advice from a medical professional who is trained in foot and ankle problems specifically – especially because you may not even have plantar fasciitis after all!
And whereas those treatment methods might help, you should still seek treatment from an actual foot doctor. We can dispense knowledgeable advice and prescribe specific options to relieve your pain (following a proper diagnosis). This may include surgery, though it is extremely rare.
We Can Help You!
So let us do what we do best. If you, in fact, have developed plantar fasciitis, you should know we are equipped with the best tools to diagnose your condition and help you kick it to the curb. If your heel pain is being caused by something different, like Achilles tendinitis or stress fractures, we can help you with that too!
All you have to do is give us a call at our office located most conveniently to you:
- McPherson Office – (620) 241-3313
- Lindsborg Office – (785) 227-2911
- Hillsboro Office – (620) 947-3114
You can also contact us via our handy request form online, and one of our staff members will reach out to you to confirm your appointment.