Plantar Fasciitis: Taking the Right Steps towards Recovery
Plantar fasciitis is a painful and chronic foot condition that may be difficult to resolve. The symptoms include pain upon walking or standing that will often improve with non-weight bearing. The intensity is generally severe for the first few steps, reduces after walking, but returns again after sitting and arising. There can be many other causes of heel pain, and specific cause/etiology is key to effective treatment and a return to your active lifestyle.
At the Foot and Ankle Center of Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we offer several doctors that can correctly diagnose your condition and provide a plan to get you back on your feet, performing everyday tasks, painlessly, as quickly as possible.
Plantar fascial pain can be found in the “couch potato,” casual exerciser, or professional athlete. Running and basketball are sports that can be responsible for cases. It seems each year we hear about NBA players missing games because of plantar fasciitis and even though NBA players undoubtedly receive the best possible treatments available, it can still take several weeks or months for them to fully recover. The secret to obtaining successful outcomes with planter fasciitis is following a strict regimen. When symptoms appear, rest, icing the heel, arch support and a series of stretches/ exercises can generally provide relief. Resistant cases can last beyond 6 months, but early medical intervention will shorten the recovery period.
Recovery and Treatment
Recovering from planter fasciitis takes a lot less time if you start treatment when symptoms first arise. Patients that wait to be evaluated and try to persevere through the pain will only prolong recovery. Unfortunately, many patients have spent much time trying to ‘fight it on their own’ prolonging their symptoms which can become quite painful.
When you are experiencing heel pain, remember rest is the first step to take to battle plantar fasciitis. We know that pushing through pain creates a major setback and does not help to resolve symptoms. Secondly, stretching the calf muscles is important as it reduces overly tight muscles, increases flexibility and minimizes the underlying cause of stress at the heel. Patients can be given a splint to wear at night to keep the foot in a stretched position and near completely avoid the morning pain. Additionally, changing your exercise routine or reducing the intensity will help. When the culprit is poor-fitting or non-supportive shoes like sandals and flip flops that do not provide the arch support that you need, we recommend that you find shoes or insoles that properly support foot structure.
Our physical therapists can advise you on the proper exercises to alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis and its underlying cause. When conservative therapy is not effective, our foot and ankle specialists can offer prescriptive medicines, treatments such as injection therapy, minimally invasive procedures, or if needed, surgery to stop the pain and heal the condition providing you full recovery.
At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine we will find the cause of your plantar fasciitis and help stop the cycle of pain, regardless of the cause. We will make every effort to find the root of your problem and create a plan for your recovery. If you think you’re battling plantar fasciitis or foot pain of any type make an appointment today.
We will guide you to a complete and speedy recovery and will help you live your life pain free!
BETH PEARCE, DPM
Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopaedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine.