Plantar fasciitis is a common foot problem where the plantar fascia, a long band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed. This foot ailment is often caused by excessive pressure on the foot that can repeatedly tear or stretch the tissue during activities such as running, which are worsened by factors such as being overweight or wearing improper fitting shoes with no support. Although the condition is treatable, in severe cases it can take up to a year for treatment to be effective.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis consist of soreness or a sharp, stabbing sensation near the heel of the foot. Typically this pain is felt during long periods of standing on the feet or during the first steps after waking up.

Conventional treatments have included stretching exercises, rest, and arch supports. Many patients often decide to undergo shockwave therapy, in which sound waves are directed to the area where pain is experienced. Although many individuals have found shockwave therapy to be effective, it can be somewhat painful, and calls for several sessions.

More conservative measures have been used in conjunction with treating plantar fasciitis including prescribed anti-inflammatories, ice packs, and physical therapy. However, when the ailment becomes chronic and the previously mentioned methods fail to reduce the discomfort, surgery can be a last resort.

While plantar fasciitis is very treatable, it is definitely not something that should be ignored. Speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications because severe heel pain that can limit every day activities. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options for your condition.

 Articles by Dr. Richard Braver

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