The plantar fascia is the largest ligament in your body, and although it’s incredibly tough, it isn’t invincible. Over the years, small tears can form in your plantar fascia, causing heel pain and general stiffness, a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Aldo M. Gonzalez, DPM, specializes in the treatment of plantar fasciitis at Ankle and Foot Center of Florida, in Palm Beach Gardens. If heel pain is keeping you sidelined, make an appointment today by calling or clicking the online booking tool.
Plantar fasciitis is the No. 1 cause of heel pain worldwide. It develops when your plantar fascia, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from your heel to your toes, becomes irritated or inflamed.
Most people with plantar fasciitis experience sharp, stabbing heel pain. Plantar fasciitis pain is typically worse in the morning when you first get out of bed. In most cases, it improves with movement, but may recur after long periods of sitting or lying down.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t trigger plantar fasciitis pain. Inflammation and swelling occur after physical activity, not during it.
Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but there are certain factors that increase your risk. These include:
If you participate in certain athletic activities, you’re also at risk. For example, sports like long-distance running and activities like ballet put pressure on your heel and surrounding soft tissues.
There’s no way to prevent plantar fasciitis entirely, but there’s plenty you can do to lower your risk. Dr. Gonzalez recommends maintaining a healthy weight, stretching your arches out prior to exercise, and wearing comfortable, supportive shoes. Little adjustments like these can ease tension on your heels and feet.
To diagnose plantar fasciitis, Dr. Gonzalez performs a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your symptoms. During your exam, Dr. Gonzalez also checks for areas of pain or tenderness in your foot. If necessary, Dr. Gonzalez may also order an X-ray or MRI to get a closer look at the structure of your foot.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the duration and severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, Dr. Gonzalez recommends conservative measures of care like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, night splints, and custom orthotics.
If these treatments don’t provide adequate relief, Dr. Gonzalez may recommend corticosteroid injections or extracorporeal shockwave therapy, which triggers your body’s natural healing process and creates new tissue cells in the damaged area. For severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Don’t let plantar fasciitis pain interfere with your ability to work and play. Request an appointment at Ankle and Foot Center of Florida today by calling or using the online booking tool.