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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue(plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.  Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.  Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. People who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis pain

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative plantar fasciitis treatments, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching.  Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.  Other conservative plantar fasciitis treatments include physical therapy, night splints, orthotics, and steroid injections.  If these conservative treatments fail, patients are faced with surgery to detach the plantar fascia form the heal bone or a single treatment of Orthowave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, the FDA approved non-invasive alternative to surgery.

OrthoWave® - Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Plantar Fasciitis FAQ's

For mild plantar fasciitis; orthotic arch support inserts, stretching and ice might be enough to treat it. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen, can help control the pain. For plantar fasciitis that is more severe, a physician might recommend steroid injections, physical therapy, or night splints. As a last resort, surgery to release the plantar fascia or non-invasive High-energy Shockwave Therapy might be recommended.

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is the repeated over-stressing of the plantar fascia. This can be caused by repeated stretching and tearing of the fascia, usually from certain exercises like running or dancing, foot mechanics like high arches or an abnormal way of walking, or occupations where most of your time is spent standing or walking. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 and those who are overweight are also considered at greater risk.

If left untreated, plantar fasciitis usually resolves within 6 to 18 months. However, if you consistently treat plantar fasciitis with icing, stretching and other conservative methods, it is often heals in about 6 months. Severe cases of plantar fasciitis may require surgery with a 6-month recovery time or High-energy Shockwave Therapy that only requires 30 days of no high-impact activities after treatment.

Plantar fasciitis can go away on its own, but the healing time is longer than if the plantar fasciitis is treated. With conservative treatments, most people recover completely after 6 months. Untreated plantar fasciitis can become chronic and require either surgery or High-energy Shockwave Therapy to resolve.

The fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis is to treat the symptoms early. Apply ice, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain if necessary; stretch your calves, Achilles tendon and the bottom of your foot; and wear shoe and/or inserts that support your arch.

Ice is better when you first injure your foot and experience plantar fasciitis, especially the first two or three days. Applying heat can make the inflammation worse and increase pain. After the inflammation has subsided, heat can be used to increase the blood flow to the area and aid with healing. Combinations of heat and ice may be used but it is best to speak to a qualified healthcare provider for specific instructions.

Foods do not directly cause plantar fasciitis, but some foods have more of an inflammatory effect on the body. Foods that commonly cause inflammation in the body are processed foods high in sugar, white flours and saturated/trans fats. Avoiding these could help reduce the inflammation, particularly in the plantar fascia.