The plantar fascia is a band of ligament that links the base of your toes to your heel bone. Plantar fasciitis is a heel condition caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which results in stabbing pain that worsens after prolonged periods of activity or inactivity. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel discomfort that makes moving around and performing daily tasks difficult.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent painful condition that affects the bottom of your foot, particularly the heel and arch, and occurs when the plantar fascia gets inflamed.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis can be felt at the bottom of the heel or the arch of the foot. The pain is induced when you spend a lot of time on your feet or stand up after resting for a long time. It is usually the worst when you wake up but fades away when you start walking because it helps stretch the plantar fascia.
What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?
Various factors can cause plantar fasciitis, including:
- Doing activities that put a lot of stress on your heel, such as running, dancing, and playing football.
- Being overweight can put additional strain on the plantar fascia.
- Having an occupation that requires long periods of standing or walking, such as teaching.
- Wearing shoes that are not well-cushioned.
- Having extremely flat or high-arched feet.
How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
During your consultation, our orthopedic doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and run imaging tests, such as an X-ray or an MRI, to determine the cause of your foot pain and develop the appropriate treatment plan.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Treatment depends on how long you have been experiencing the symptoms and the intensity of your pain.
Treatment options for plantar fasciitis include:
- Getting plenty of rest: Swelling can be reduced by keeping your activities to a minimum and lying down while lifting your feet.
- Ice packs: Applying ice to the sore area for 20 minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and swelling.
- Medications: Our doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to help with the discomfort and inflammation of plantar fasciitis.
- Physical therapy: Our physiotherapist can teach you exercises that you can do at home to relieve pain and speed up healing. These exercises will help stretch your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and strengthen your calf muscles.
- Night splints: Wearing a night splint that holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened posture while you sleep can help reduce pain.
- Orthotics: Custom arch supports that fit into your shoes can help distribute the strain on your feet more evenly.
- Steroid injections: The doctor may suggest injecting a steroid medication into the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT): Delivering low or high-energy shock waves to the affected area can stimulate healing and reduce inflammation.
- Tissue healing with ultrasonic waves: A low-energy ultrasound probe is used in this minimally-invasive procedure to break up scar tissue in the heel, improve blood flow to the affected area, and stimulate tissue healing.
- Surgery: Plantar fasciitis surgery is performed only in rare situations where severe pain does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. It is carried out under local anesthetic through a tiny incision and involves separating the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
What to expect after plantar fasciitis treatment?
Most people with plantar fasciitis recover in a few months after treatment; however, to prevent a recurrence, it would be best to follow self-care measures to help maintain the treatment result.
You should wear supportive shoes with good arch support and a slightly elevated heel and regularly stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles. It is better to avoid the activities that cause heel pain and practice low-impact sports instead, such as swimming.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today
If you are experiencing heel pain, make an appointment with one of our expert orthopedic doctors in Dubai or Al Ain to learn more about your condition and treatment options.
To book an appointment or for more information about plantar fasciitis, call us toll-free on 800 (NOVO) 6686 or click the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.