ValleyOrtho’s physician treat a wide range of common athletic injuries, including plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of tissue in the sole of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the tough connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot that helps support the arch of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis may be caused by:
- Sudden increases in running, jumping or aerobic activities
- Tight lower leg muscles, especially the calf muscles
- Poor foot biomechanics, including excessive pronation, flat feet, or high arches
- Improper shoes for specific activities, shoes with poor fit or cushion, and/or shoes with a broken down heel
- Prolonged static standing on hard surfaces such as concrete or tile
Plantar fasciitis has a common set of symptoms, including:
- Tenderness on the bottom of the foot, near the inner aspect of the heel
- Pain on the bottom of the foot when first getting out of bed or after prolonged sitting
- Gradual development of heel pain that starts out moderate but can become quite severe
It is important to see the right orthopedic specialist for heel pain. Heel pain can also be caused by other factors, including fracture or other trauma, stress fracture, tendinitis, arthritis, nerve entrapment, or cyst in the heel bone. The specialists at ValleyOrtho will be able to obtain the proper history, perform an exam, and order the appropriate imaging needed to determine the cause of the heel pain.
Heel pain can usually be treated conservatively, without surgery.
Plantar fasciitis may be treated by:
- Icing the area of tenderness after activity
- Decreasing the frequency, intensity and duration of running and other activities
- Stretching and massaging calf muscles and toe flexors (muscles that curl the toes)
- Strengthening the ankle muscles and toe flexors
- Trying orthotics, arch supports and/or new shoes
- Consulting with a physical therapist to improve biomechanics, improve flexibility and strength, and consider modalities
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed by a physician
- Utilizing a night splint while sleeping
- Receiving Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections if conservative treatment is unsuccessful and plantar fasciitis becomes chronic
Occasionally, if none of the above solutions are effective, casting or surgery may be considered. In general, any surgery should be avoided until conservative treatments have been attempted. At ValleyOrtho, we are committed to delivering the best in superior, patient-centered care.