Living With Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes stabbing pain in your heel. When you take your first few steps in the morning, you’ll notice the pain immediately. Discomfort should decrease as you get up or move around. However, symptoms often arise after standing for long periods or right after rising from a seated position. 

Luckily, this condition is treatable. At Portland Foot and Ankle Institute in Portland, Oregon, our team of dedicated specialists offer a variety of treatments options. They can help speed up your recovery and avoid future injuries.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis involves a thick band of tissue that is located across the bottom of your foot. This ligament connects your heel bone to your toes. When the band becomes irritated or inflamed, it triggers painful symptoms caused by this condition.  

Repetitive stress put on the bottom of your foot; it causes the ligament to tear. A plantar fascia that is unaffected works to absorb shock as you’re walking and supports the arch of your foot. You notice increased pain during your first few steps or after exercising. 

Who is at risk for plantar fasciitis?

About 2 million seek treatment for plantar fasciitis each year. Here are some factors that can increase your risk for this common problem. 

If you have tight calf muscles, this may also increase your risk for plantar fasciitis and prevent you from flexing your foot toward your shins. Those who experience an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis are eligible for more conservative treatments. 

Diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis 

One of our doctors evaluates your symptoms, reviews your medical history, and conducts either an X-ray or ultrasound examination to rule out the possibility of a fracture. Performing an X-ray examination may also reveal a heel spur, which is a bony protrusion from your heel bone. Your doctor will test areas of tenderness in your foot for sensitivity to diagnose your condition and then create a personalized treatment plan that brings relief to your symptoms. 

Treatment options may include 

Physical therapy

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to stretch and strengthen the Achilles tendon and lower leg muscles that stabilize your ankle and heel. Massage, contrast baths, or ultrasonography supply the process of long-term healing. You might also try resting and icing the painful area regularly. 

Cortisone injection

If your pain becomes unbearable or severe, one of our specialists recommends cortisone injections. This treatment option temporarily eases symptoms and helps keep inflammation down for about a month. 

Surgery

In rare cases, surgery is necessary to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This typically addresses any severe pain or stubborn injury that has not responded to other treatment options. Following the surgery, you can return home the same day. The doctor asks you to wear a boot or splint following treatment, and you should avoid putting any weight on your foot. 

This condition lessens in severity within a few months following an appropriate treatment regime or surgery. A combination of stretching, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of supportive orthotic devices has been successful in diminishing pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. 

If you’re seeking a solution for symptoms of plantar fasciitis, call our office, or book an appointment online today. 

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