Plantar fasciitis is a common condition and it can sideline you due to the pain that it can cause. If you are having foot pain, this is a condition you want to look into; knowing more about it will help you to get a prompt diagnosis if it is what is causing your symptoms.
Exploring the Causes and Risk Factors
The plantar fascia spans most of the bottom of your foot and it works to support your arch and absorb shock when you are walking. If this structure experiences too much stress or tension, it can result in small tears. Over time, the tear and stretching gets worse, resulting in inflammation and irritation of this structure. In a number of cases, the cause of this condition is not determined. The risk factors can include:
- Being 40 to 60 years old
- Having flat feet
- Working certain jobs where you are on your feet
- Distance running, ballet and similar activities
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Pain is the most prominent symptom of this condition. It is typically on the bottom of the foot and is often described as stabbing. In most cases, the worst pain is felt as soon as you wake up in the morning and go to take a few steps. When you are exercising, the pain is generally not too bad, but can be worsened right after.
Getting an Accurate Diagnosis
In most cases, your symptoms are enough for your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and look for areas on your feet that are tender to determine if the plantar fascia is the source of your pain. While additional testing is usually not necessary, if your doctor does decide to perform tests, they might include:
- Imaging studies to help rule out other causes and confirm plantar fasciitis
- Regular X-rays to see if there are any bone spurs present
Possible Treatment Options
Medications for pain, orthotics, physical therapy and night splints are commonly used to treat this condition. However, if these do not resolve your symptoms, your doctor might recommend injections of steroids into the plantar fascia, the tenex procedure, extracorporeal shock wave therapy or surgery.
You can see that plantar fasciitis can be a pain and have a negative impact on your quality of life. If you suspect that you might have this condition it is important that you reach out to a podiatrist so that you can get evaluated and started on an effective treatment regimen.
Podiatrist Dr. Todd Derksen, DPM, specializes in total ankle replacement, foot and ankle deformities, bunions, sports medicine, trauma, and fracture care. To set up an appointment with him at OSI’s main campus in Appleton or at our outreach clinic in Waupaca, please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.
Additionally, OSI now offers a Walk-In Clinic at its Appleton location for new, acute orthopedic injuries.
The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.
OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.