The plantar fascia is an important connective tissue situated at the underside of the foot. It acts as a supportive bridge, linking the heel bone to the toes and contributing to the maintenance of the foot’s arch structure.
Experiencing heel pain may be attributed to the overstretching and tearing of the plantar fascia. In addition to this, various factors such as age and foot mechanics can also play a role in the development of this condition.
Plantar fasciitis, a common condition affecting many individuals, leads to discomfort in the heel area of the foot. This condition occurs when the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes experiences small tears, resulting in pain.
Your doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis based on your medical history and physical exam. They may also perform a sonoelastography test to check for abnormalities in the tissue that are causing symptoms.
Physical therapy (PT) can be an effective solution for plantar fasciitis as it involves stretching and strengthening your foot. Furthermore, physical therapists are experts in their field and can develop an individualised treatment plan tailored specifically to you and your needs.
On your initial appointment, your physical therapist will conduct a detailed assessment to pinpoint where your pain stems from and develop a tailored treatment plan to improve flexibility, range of motion and mobility in the affected area. They may then prescribe stretching and exercise programs designed specifically to improve these attributes.
OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) may help manage plantar fasciitis symptoms. In severe cases, cortisone injections directly into injured ligaments may also reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort.
Home treatment methods for plantar fasciitis typically involve icing and massage, wearing arch supports in your shoes, replacing worn-out athletic footwear, stretching exercises and rest. Resting and minimizing activities that put too much strain on feet are often recommended as an additional approach to treating plantar fasciitis.
Your doctor may suggest orthotics to cushion and support the bottom of your foot, especially during high-impact sports such as running. Furthermore, night splints may help stretch out foot and calf muscles during sleep if orthotics don’t. If these treatments don’t relieve your symptoms enough, platelet-rich plasma injections might also be an option as they contain growth factors to promote healing.
Cortisone injections can be an effective remedy for plantar fasciitis, providing an immediate dose of anti-inflammatory medicine directly to the source of pain. They’re often recommended as an option when traditional remedies like orthotic inserts, stretching exercises and rest have failed.
Pain Management NYC experts offer effective heel pain therapy injections, which only take minutes to administer and require minimal recovery time. Local anesthetic and cortisone medication will be injected directly into the painful area to provide instantaneous relief.
Pain Management NYC also offers alternative treatments such as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (EPAT). EPAT involves using pressure waves to stimulate collagen production in the plantar fascia and relieve pain, providing noninvasive office-based therapy that typically lasts five weeks with results often visible after four to six weeks, including improved function and reduced levels of pain.
If your persistent pain does not respond to treatment, surgery may be the answer. While it’s ultimately your decision, it is wise to understand its risks as well as those of alternative approaches before making your final choice.
Your doctor will use a special tool to remove portions of the plantar fascia ligament during a surgical procedure to alleviate inflammation and pain in your heel. This may be done endoscopically or openly depending on which method suits best for you.
Your doctor may also use metal or wire insertion between the plantar fascia and heel bone to reduce tension, helping heal damaged tissue while weakening its arch and possibly losing full functionality. This may reduce tension but weaken the arch of your foot further and compromise full functionality.
Your doctor might suggest gastrocnemius recession or release, which involves lengthening the calf muscles to relieve pressure on your plantar fascia and decrease plantar fasciitis symptoms. This treatment option may also be effective against equinus contracture – tightness in calf muscles that causes plantar fasciitis symptoms – by lengthening them further and relieving pressure from plantar fasciitis symptoms.
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