Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation or irritation of plantar fascia. The inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness. The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It supports your foot arch and absorbs shock when walking, jumping, or running. Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of heel pain. It results from overstretching or overusing your plantar fascia and is most common in athletes. You can relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms at home but contact Marque A. Allen DPM, FACFAS, if they persist for more than three days. There are many treatments for plantar fasciitis, including:
Braces and supports
A night splint, a type of brace, can help stretch your calf and foot arch. It holds your foot in a flexed position and lengthens your plantar fascia overnight to help prevent pain and stiffness in the morning. Special orthotics for the shoes can help reduce pain by distributing pressure and preventing further damage to your plantar fascia.
Mild stretches can help ease and prevent plantar fasciitis. Stretching the plantar fascia helps loosen your muscles and relieve heel pain. Avoid vigorous activities like running to give your plantar fascia time to heal. Low-impact exercises like swimming are beneficial when you have plantar fasciitis. Always stretch before you begin your workouts. Stretches for plantar fasciitis are easy, but your physical therapist can guide you on the best, depending on your symptoms.
Shock wave therapy
Your doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy if other treatments do not relieve your pain. The treatment involves your doctor directing sound waves to your heel to stimulate healing within the ligament. You may experience side effects like bruising, swelling, and numbness after shock wave therapy, but they fade within a few days.
Surgery is the last treatment your doctor will suggest when you have plantar fasciitis. It is essential if you experience severe pain or if it lasts more than six to twelve months. Surgery can lead to chronic pain and nerve damage, so doctors use it when all other treatments are ineffective. There are two surgical procedures that can relieve plantar fasciitis, which include:
Your healthcare provider can recommend gastrocnemius recession if you cannot flex your feet even after regular stretching exercises. The treatment involves your surgeon strengthening your calf muscle to improve ankle motion and flexibility in your foot and relieve stress on your plantar fascia. Research in 2017 shows that gastrocnemius recession improves foot function and reduces pain in obese patients, especially those with chronic plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fascia release
Plantar fascia release involves your surgeon cutting part of your plantar fascia ligament to release tension to help reduce inflammation. The surgeon can make small cuts into the ligament or detach the plantar fascia from your heel bone. Plantar fascia release surgery reduces tension but weakens the arch of your foot, and you may lose full functionality. Your surgeon can perform this procedure endoscopically or through open surgery.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation or irritation of plantar fascia. There are various treatments for plantar fasciitis, including braces and supports, shock wave therapy, stretching exercises, and surgery. Schedule an appointment at Sports Medicine Associates for plantar fasciitis treatment to relieve your heel pain.