If the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes – the plantar fascia – is inflamed, you could have heel pain that indicates plantar fasciitis. This occurs when too much stress is placed on the tissue, causing the development of tears. Plantar fasciitis is a leading cause of heel pain, and many people who have it report a stabbing sensation in the heel that feels worse in the morning.
Treating plantar fasciitis involves addressing the root cause of the pressure being placed on the plantar fascia because this pressure is causing the irritation and inflammation. Common causes include the uneven distribution of your body weight on your feet, poor foot mechanics, long hours spent standing, improper footwear, and excess weight.
How Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Treated?
Treatments for plantar fasciitis include the following:
Taking Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
The uncomfortable symptoms can interfere with sleep and can make standing or walking difficult. Doctors usually prescribe or recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ice therapy on the foot and heel, or injection therapy (cortisone shots) to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Performing Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Exercises that strengthen the foot muscles and stretch the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles can help ease symptoms of plantar fasciitis and prevent its recurrence. Your doctor or a physical therapist can teach you the most beneficial exercises for plantar fasciitis relief and prevention.
Wearing Night Splints
Doctors recommend that patients with plantar fasciitis wear night splints to keep the calf and arch of the foot stretched out while you sleep. Night splints keep the ankle in a neutral position while encouraging the healing of the plantar fascia by keeping it elongated.
Patients who are familiar with the greater pain of plantar fasciitis in the morning will likely experience noticeable pain reduction from wearing night splints during sleep. This is a noninvasive, nonmedicinal treatment from which many patients enjoy positive results.
Making Shoe Changes and Mechanical Corrections
Worn-out shoes or shoes that lack support can cause plantar fasciitis, especially if you wear them while exercising, playing sports, or standing or walking for long hours every day. The right shoes should be comfortable, provide good shock-absorption, and offer arch support. Mechanical corrections can also be made by wearing custom orthotics, which diffuse pressure from the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Central Maryland
Our foot surgeons here at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland specialize in treating the full range of foot and ankle disorders, including plantar fasciitis. Foot pain and heel pain can prevent you from doing even the simplest things, and we can diagnose and treat your foot condition so you can get back on your feet again. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis can be successfully treated without surgery.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced orthopedic physicians, call our friendly staff today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to serving you at one of our convenient locations across Maryland!