Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot (the plantar fascia) is inflamed. Designed to absorb the intense pressure continually placed on the foot, the plantar fascia can become irritated or torn due to excessive stress.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain and stiffness. Oftentimes, the pain strikes after a long period of rest, then subsides with a few minutes of walking. Many people find that they feel better after—but not during—exercise. If you have symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you can consult with a foot and ankle specialist at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Casper, Wyoming.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?
When you visit Premier Bone & Joint Centers, your physician will ask you to describe your symptoms and concerns in detail, then examine your foot for signs of plantar fasciitis. Specifically, your physician will check for:
- An area of tenderness on the bottom of your foot in front of your heel bone
- Heel pain that worsens when you flex your foot and subsides when you point your toes
- A high foot arch
- Limited upward motion of your ankle
Additionally, your physician may order an X-ray to rule out other conditions, such as heel spurs, fractures, and arthritis.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Plantar fasciitis often responds well to conservative treatments, such as:
- Rest – It is important to avoid or limit any activities that worsen the discomfort.
- Ice applications – It can be helpful to roll the painful foot over a frozen bottle of water for 20 minutes three to four times a day.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve painful inflammation.
- Stretches – Plantar fasciitis can be aggravated by overly tight calf muscles, which can be loosened with targeted stretching. In addition, stretching the plantar fascia itself may be beneficial.
- Supportive footwear – Shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning can help reduce pain while standing and walking.
Surgery is rarely needed to treat plantar fasciitis; in general, we consider it only after 12 months or more of conservative therapy does not provide sufficient relief.
For additional information about plantar fasciitis, please contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers today to schedule a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist at our satellite clinic in Casper, WY.