Foot pain is a common concern among patients of Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. There could be many causes for pain in the foot, but one of the most common ones we see is plantar fasciitis. This condition can cause quite a bit of pain and can be difficult to manage without the proper treatments and doctor supervision. This article will discuss the common causes of plantar fasciitis and what your next steps should be if you think you may have the condition.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis refers to heel pain when the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. Some may notice when you get out of bed in the morning a stabbing pain goes across the bottom of your foot. Though the pain may subdue once you go about your day, it can get worse with prolonged times of standing or when you stand up after sitting for a while. If your occupation involves either of these two things it can make the symptoms of plantar fasciitis difficult to manage.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
This question is still debated and not fully understood within orthopedics. However, plantar fasciitis is seen mostly in runners or people who are overweight. Having extra pounds can put added pressure on joints and ligaments and can also lead to inflammation within the body. The combination of pressure and inflammation can result in pain anywhere in the body.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Most people feel a stabbing pain in the bottom of their foot where the tissue (fasciitis) has become inflamed. The first few steps after lying down or sitting can be the most painful. Other symptoms include inflammation and tenderness. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can be treated by an orthopedic doctor who specializes in the foot. At Elite, Dr. Jeffrey Willers helps patients suffering from the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
Conservative Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel pain may subside on its own with conservative treatments anyone can do at home. We first recommend the RICE method (rest, ice, compress and elevate). This along with anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications may help manage pain in the short term.
If you have tried conservative measures at home and cannot seem to get the nagging pain to go away, it is highly recommended to see an orthopedic foot doctor. Our doctors will always first try conservative treatments through prescribing physical therapy. Our physical therapists at Elite have a close relationship with our doctors and will work alongside Dr. Willers to provide the best possible treatment plan. Your PT will give you a few exercises and stretches to work on with them and at home to help ease the pain. Dry Needling is also a treatment option that our physical therapists may recommend to patients to decrease the inflammation in the tissue.
Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
If you are still in pain after all conservative treatments have been attempted, Dr. Willers may recommend an OssaTron procedure.
“The OssaTron® is a high-energy shockwave device that provides a non-invasive surgical alternative for patients diagnosed with chronic plantar fasciitis (severe heel pain). Using a unique technology known as Orthotripsy®, the OssaTron® device emits a series of high-energy acoustic impulses (shockwaves) to stimulate healing of the affected heel.” (premiereshockwave.com)
With this procedure, patients can go home the same day and can bare weight immediately following the procedure. Recovery time is minimal, with normal activities being able to resume within days of the procedure. Dr. Willers specializes in foot pain and his success rate is high for patients with plantar fasciitis. You can learn more about Dr. Willers and schedule an appointment today here.