When your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause
severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar
fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss). Itís an overuse injury
affecting the sole or flexor surface (plantar) of the foot. A
diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough,
fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the
base of your toes.
more likely to get the condition if youíre a woman, if youíre
overweight, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking
or standing on hard surfaces. Youíre also at risk if you walk
or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles
that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very
flat feet or very high arches are also more prone to plantar fasciitis.
condition starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone. Youíre
more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain classically
occurs again after arising from a midday lunch break. If you donít
treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You
may not be able to keep up your level of activity and you may
also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because
of the way plantar fasciitis changes the way you walk.
for Plantar Fasciitis
Rest is the first treatment for plantar fasciitis. Try to keep
weight off your foot until the inflammation goes away. You can
also apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times
a day to relieve your symptoms. Often a doctor will prescribe
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. A
program of home exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and
plantar fascia are the mainstay of treating the condition and
lessening the chance of recurrence, along with proper arch supports.
90 percent of people with plantar fasciitis improve significantly
after two months of initial treatment. You may be advised to use
shoes with shock-absorbing soles (like a walking or running shoe)
or fitted with a temporary arch support. Your foot may also be
taped into a specific position. If the taping or temporary arch
supports are helpful, then you are a candidate for custom-molded
arch supports, also called orthotics.
your plantar fasciitis is extremely swollen and tender, your doctor
may inject your heel with steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
(corticosteroid). If you still have symptoms, you may need to
wear a walking cast for 2-3 weeks or positional splint when you
sleep. In a few cases, you might need surgery to release your
Patients with heel spurs usually have the same complaints as those
with plantar fasciitis. This is due to the fact that the heel
spur is actually a result of the continuous strain on the plantar
fascia. Therefore, the treatment of heel spurs is the same as
the treatment for plantar fasciitis.
about 10% of patients, the heel spur may be inpinging on a nerve
or may actually be fractured. Therefore, after exhausting the
above-mentioned treatments, surgery may be necessary to remove
doctors at Chicago Foot Health Centers
specialize in treating advanced plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.