Heel pain can come from several disorders that target the feet. Plantar fasciitis, which affects the connective tissues in your feet, can cause significant discomfort whenever you stand or walk.
However, there’s no need to endure the pain. Working with medical professionals should allow you to get effective treatment. Preparing questions to ask your doctor is an excellent way to ensure adequate medical attention for plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis comes from the inflammation of a tough band of connective tissue that connects your heels with the base of your toes. The plantar fascia is the ligament that supports the natural arch of your feet, absorbing some of the mechanical stress whenever you stand and walk.
Gradual wear and tear and overuse can damage the plantar fascia, making it more sensitive to tension from regular activities. Pain can occur whenever you put pressure on your feet from running, walking, and even standing up.
What are the common causes and risk factors for plantar fasciitis?
In many cases, it’s hard to pinpoint a specific cause for your condition. Talk with your doctor to identify potential risk factors. With this information, you’ll have a guide on what to work on to alleviate symptoms.
Anatomical features such as having high arches or flat feet can increase the stress on the plantar fascia. Being overweight or obese also raises pressure on your feet due to the added weight.
Lifestyle factors also play a role. Poor-fitting shoes with minimal arch support can irritate the plantar fascia. Engaging regularly in high-impact physical activities such as jumping or running can also increase your risk. If your livelihood requires prolonged periods of standing, such as teaching or working at a factory, you may also be at risk of this condition.
Certain preexisting conditions, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis. A proper medical assessment is crucial to identify any comorbidities.
What diagnostics tests will I have to take?
Doctors usually diagnose plantar fasciitis based on a physical examination, your medical history, and symptoms. Foot tenderness and pain that concentrate near the heel are primary symptoms.
Imaging techniques can also be used to rule out other causes of foot pain like stress fractures. Your doctor may require you to undergo magnetic resonance imaging and X-ray for plantar fasciitis.
What are my treatment options?
Treatments come in three categories: physical therapy, medication, and surgery.
Initial treatment involves conservative methods such as resting, stretching, and ice application. Most patients recover after several months of pain management. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can be useful in reducing discomfort.
Physical therapy involves exercises to stretch the connective tissues in your feet. The activities also strengthen the muscles in your lower leg, allowing them to support your feet better.
Orthotics such as arch supports help redistribute loads more evenly across your feet. You may also have to wear night splints to stretch your lower legs while you sleep. Your doctor may also advise you to replace your shoes with those that can support your arch adequately.
If pain persists after several months, you may need to receive more intensive treatments, such as steroid injections or ultrasonic tissue repair. Sometimes, severe cases of plantar fasciitis may need surgery to release the plantar fascia.
The type of treatment you’ll receive depends on your condition. You’ll need a proper assessment that accounts for your health status and severity of symptoms.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Central Maryland
A plantar fasciitis diagnosis will naturally raise questions. Preparing questions about your condition and how to control its symptoms will be crucial in ensuring good outcomes. Work with experienced medical professionals to maximize your healthcare experience.
The specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland are committed to providing innovative and comprehensive healthcare. Our professionals offer pain management therapies and rehabilitation tools that offer effective, long-term relief.
To serve you better, we have facilities all over Maryland, including Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, Ellicott City, Jessup, and Fulton. Learn more by calling us at (410) 644-1880. You may also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you ease your pain!