What is Plantar Fascitis:
Plantar fasciitis, which may cause the heel to hurt, feel hot or swell, is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin layer of tough tissue supporting the arch of the foot. Repeated microscopic tears of the plantar fascia cause pain. Sometimes plantar fasciitis is called “heel spurs”, but this is not always accurate, since bony growths on the heel may or may not be a factor.
How Do I Find Out If I Have Plantar Fascitis:
Diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, usually is not necessary to diagnose plantar fasciitis, although it may be useful to rule out other potential causes of heel pain. Typically with plantar fasciitis, the pain is worse when first getting out of bed, or is noticeable at the beginning of an activity and gets better as the body warms up. Prolonged standing may cause pain, as well. In more severe cases, the pain may worsen toward the end of the day. Dr. Gloin D.C. has treated many people for plantar fasciitis and will gladly examine your feet and determine whether you have this condition or any other foot/ ankle issue.
What Causes Plantar Fascitis:
There are a number of possible causes for plantar fasciitis and they often work in combination. Tightness of the foot and calf, improper athletic training, stress on the arch or weakness of the foot are potential causes. Shoes that don’t fit, certain play or work actions or overuse (running too fast, too far, too soon) may hurt the plantar fascia. People with low arches, flat feet or high arches are at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
How Do I Treat Plantar Fascitis:
Symptoms usually resolve more quickly when the time between the onset of symptoms and the beginning of treatment is as short as possible. If treatment is delayed, the complete resolution of symptoms may take 6-18 months or more. Treatment will typically begin by correcting training errors, which may require some degree of rest, the use of ice after activities, and an evaluation by Dr. Gloin of your gait, feet and shoes are all beneficial starting points for determining the proper care needed. Dr. Gloin may recommend myofascial release (a form of deep tissue massage), ultrasound, chiropractic manipulation of the foot, ankle and spine and stretching/ strengthening home exercises. For pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) may be recommended, but only at the discretion of your primary care physician.