The pain is so bad that you dread putting your foot down when you get out of bed first thing in the morning. It’s a stabbing pain in your heel that gradually gets better as you walk it out. Later in the day it comes back after you’ve spent a long time sitting at your desk or after work when you go out for a run.
If this sounds familiar, you may have a common condition known as plantar fasciitis. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we treat many cases of this disorder, particularly in patients between the ages of 40 and 60. The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that reaches all the way from your toes to your heel. It’s designed to withstand a good deal of pressure but when it gets overstretched, small tears occur in the ligament causing severe pain.
A wide variety of scenarios can result in the over stretching of the plantar fascia. In some patients it is the result of poor foot mechanics: people with flat feet or overly high arches are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Activities that put stress on this part of the foot such as dancing or running can also be the root cause, as can having job that requires you to stand or walk on a hard surface for long periods of time. Plantar fasciitis is also more likely to occur in people who are overweight or women who are pregnant due to the strain that the extra weight places on the foot.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, will want to examine your foot and hear about your symptoms and when you notice them increase or decrease. Once a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is confirmed, the doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment which will usually include resting your foot as well as one or more of the following:
· Reducing pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatory medications and icing.
· Custom orthotics to shift the position of your foot to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia.
· Night splints to keep the plantar fascia stretched and reduce pain in the morning.
· Physical therapy.
If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact our Somers Point office at: (609) 927-4894 and start getting relief.