What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?
If you experience persistent foot pain, there is a good chance that you suffer from a condition called plantar fasciitis. This is a term that refers to inflammation of the fascia, a band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes, and is one of the most common causes of foot pain. Fascia pain is often easy to ignore because it comes on gradually, but it can become debilitating over time and lead to complications including ruptures, tearing and reduced mobility.

Signs and Symptoms

The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot. One or both feet may be affected. The pain is usually mild in the beginning and increases in intensity over time if treatment is not applied. The pain is often more severe upon waking in the morning and slowly decreases over the course of the day. Less common symptoms include swelling, numbness and a tingling “pins and needles” sensation. Rupture of the fascia is a rare complication that presents with a popping or snapping sound accompanied by sharp, sudden pain.

Risk Factors and Prevention

High arches, flat feet and obesity are the main risk factors. Being on your feet all day and participating in high-impact sports like running also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can treat and prevent fasciitis. Wearing properly fitted shoes and orthotics when running, walking or standing for long periods of time also helps protect the fascia from the type of stress that can lead to inflammation.

Treatment Options

The most effective treatment for mild cases of fasciitis is simple rest and ice. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can reduce pain and swelling. Custom orthotics and physical therapy are helpful for persistent or recurring pain. Injections of corticosteroid medication improve symptoms for some patients. If your foot pain fails to respond to any of the other treatments, corrective surgery may be required. Plantar fasciotomy, a procedure that removes part of the fascia, is the most common surgical treatment.

When to See a Doctor

If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, any foot pain should be addressed by a physician immediately. If you’re not diabetic, fasciitis pain that doesn’t resolve with a few days of rest and ice packs should be evaluated by a doctor. You should also make an appointment if you have symptoms that resolve but frequently return. Your physician will rule out any other causes of pain, such as tumors and injuries, and develop a plan of treatment to get you back on your feet.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!