If you have pain in your heel, the arch of your foot, or both, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of foot pain.
At Premier Podiatry, Dr. Scott O’Connor sees many patients with plantar fasciitis, and provides treatment solutions that alleviate the pain and get you back to your normal activities. Before we get into those treatments, let’s take a look at what’s behind this type of foot pain.
A quick plantar fasciitis overview
The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot. It connects the front of your foot to the back and provides support for the entire structure. It has to withstand the shock of every step you take, whether you’re walking, running, or climbing.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. Typically the band of tissue becomes inflamed near your heel or sometimes near the arch. You’ll experience a sharp or shooting pain slightly in front of your heel bone, usually as soon as you get up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting or standing for a while.
These are a few therapies we can use to alleviate your plantar fasciitis pain:
1. Rest and ice
One of the first things to try with plantar fasciitis is rest. Prop your foot up to take the weight off the ligament. Take a break from the activities that contribute to the pain, whether it’s jogging, dancing, or other exercises where your feet take abuse against hard surfaces.
Using ice on the bottom of your foot helps with inflammation. You may want to rest your foot on a bag of frozen peas or roll an ice-cold water bottle under your foot several times a day.
2. Custom orthotics
One of the causes of plantar fasciitis is having an issue with your arch. The arch may be too high or you may have a flat foot where the arch doesn’t provide enough support. Custom orthotics that are cushioned with thick soles can provide support for both your heel and arch to relieve pressure and distribute weight across your foot.
Dr. O’Connor often uses kinesiology tape to help ease the stress on the plantar fascia and provide support to the arch. He can tape your foot in the office and show you how to do it at home, if you so desire.
4. Stretching and strengthening
Dr. O’Connor may prescribe physical therapy or give you exercises to do at home to treat your foot pain. Exercises that strengthen the calf muscles help ease the strain on your plantar fascia. Stretching your foot muscles and the plantar fascia itself may also help relieve pain and stabilize the area.
5. Laser therapy or injections
K-Laser® therapy uses light energy to promote healing in the plantar fascia by reducing swelling and pain and increasing circulations to the area. Corticosteroid injections can help decrease inflammation, and AmnioFix® injections contain special proteins that help with healing and promote new tissue growth.
Come in for treatment
While plantar fasciitis treatment may take some trial and error, rest assured that Dr. O’Connor makes every possible effort to resolve your condition with a combination of the many available treatments. Many of our patients see improvement after several months of treatment. However, if diligent use of our conservative, nonsurgical therapies isn’t successful after a year or so, we may consider a surgical fix for your plantar fasciitis.
If you’ve let your heel pain go on for too long, it’s time to take care of it. Schedule an appointment with Dr. O’Connor by calling one of our offices in Normal, Pontiac, or Eureka, Illinois. Or better yet, just go ahead and book it online while you’re here on the website -- just click the button.