Plantar Fasciitis Specialist

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute

Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Portland, OR

If your first few steps in the morning cause stabbing heel pain, you may have plantar fasciitis. Board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Michael A. Gentile, DPM, FACFAS, and his team at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute offer a variety of plantar fasciitis treatments for patients in Portland, Oregon. To find relief from heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis, call or book an appointment online today.

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain at the bottom of your heel. About 2 million people seek treatment for this condition every year.

The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue (ligament) that runs from the base of your heel bone to your toes. When this tissue becomes irritated and inflamed, you have plantar fasciitis.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is built to absorb shock and support the arch of your foot, but too much pressure can cause the fibers of this ligament to tear. Repetitive stress causes the plantar fascia to become overly stretched and torn. This leads to irritation and inflammation.

Who gets plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common problem that can happen to anyone. But certain factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Beginning a new physical activity
  • Increasing activity level
  • Repetitive high-impact activity like running
  • Jobs that require a lot of standing and walking
  • Having very high or very flat arches
  • Obesity

Having tight calf muscles that prevent you from flexing your foot so your toes move toward your shin may also increase your risk for plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Stabbing pain at the bottom of your heel is the telltale sign of plantar fasciitis. Pain is typically worse with your first few steps after a long period of rest and fades as the plantar fascia warms up with walking. You may also notice increased pain after exercising rather than during it.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Gentile spends time reviewing your symptoms and medical history. He carefully examines your foot and may take an X-ray or perform an ultrasound exam to rule out other sources of heel pain, like a fracture.

An X-ray may reveal a heel spur, which is a bony protrusion that extends from your heel bone. Heel spurs are common in people with plantar fasciitis, but are rarely a cause of pain.

Then, Dr. Gentile develops a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief from plantar fasciitis. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may include:

  • Specialized physical therapy.
  • Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia
  • Orthotic devices like arch support or heel cups

If your heel pain and symptoms persist despite conservative treatments, Dr. Gentile may recommend a cortisone injection. Rarely, surgery may be necessary.

For expert treatment of plantar fasciitis, call Portland Foot & Ankle Institute or book an appointment online today.