There is a thick band of tissue which runs along the arch of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes called the plantar fascia. When this fibrous band of tissue becomes inflamed, it causes a stabbing pain in the heel. This inflammation is known as Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is also known as ‘jogger’s heel.’ It is very common in runners, obese people and people who wear inappropriate shoes. Heel pain is quite a common issue, but 80 percent of these cases are due to plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis:
- An acute pain at the bottom of the foot near the heel with the first steps one takes upon awakening
- In isolated incidences, numbness, tingling, swelling and radiating pain also occur
The cause of plantar fasciitis is not completely clear. Under normal conditions, the fibrous tissue or plantar fascia acts like a shock absorber supporting the arch of the foot. However any kind of tension on this absorber can cause a tear in the tissue. Prolonged periods of standing, a life without exercise and being overweight can exacerbate the situation causing the fascia to tear further and become inflamed and swollen.
In most cases, people with plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatment such as:
- Pain relievers
- Ice applications
- Physical therapy
- Weight reduction
- Wearing a splint during the night
- Custom fitted arch supports and heel inserts and cushions
With time, when the pain gets worse, ESWT or extracorporeal shockwave therapy and corticosteroid injections are effective treatments, but under the supervision of an experienced podiatrist. When the pain is severe and all other treatments fail, then surgery is the only option.
At Syracuse Podiatry, our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, is a specialist in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery. Our team is committed to serving the community of Fayetteville, NY, in the Syracuse area and the relationship we have with our patients is based on care and compassion. Peruse our website and if you feel that the symptoms you have may be those of some foot or ankle problem, please contact us at (315) 446 3668 and make an appointment.