Updated: Sep 17, 2020
So you roll out of bed and take that first painful step, then another, and another. Finally it is starting to feel better, as the day goes along, you forget all about it, climb into bed. Wake up the next working and wham, there It is again. Sounds familiar—yup you guessed it. Plantar fasciitis.
Your plantar fascia is layers of bands of tissue that help support the arch of your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of said tissue, caused by too much tension on that tissue. Diagnosis is made based on your history—imaging (i.e, xray, CT scan, etc) really isn’t helpful.
Who is at the highest risk?
Heel stressing activities, such as running
Foot mechanics (flat feet and high arches)
Being on your feet all day
So what can I do about it, Doc? So glad you asked! There is not a magic cure for plantar fasciitis. In fact, most will resolve on its own within 6 months. Though there are things that you can do to support the healing, and maybe speed it along:
Icing the foot—I recommend freezing a water bottle and then rolling your foot back and
forth over it a few times a day for about 20 minutes each time.
Good supportive shoes—no those cute sandals you bought for the beach trip that didn’t
happen this year just are not going to cut it. This is the first thing I talk about when
someone comes to me with this. I recommend wearing supportive shoes all the time,
even in your house. I have been wearing Asics for as long as I can remember, without
issue—just find one that works for you!
Orthotics. —just the ones you buy at the store, not super expensive, custom fit ones. In
fact a study was done that showed there was no more improvement with custom
orthotics compared to store bought.
Braces—you can wear night time braces that help to keep the foot flexed and stretch out
the tissue. Though talk to your doctor before spending lots of money on these.
Injections —if you have heel spurs (about 50% of people with plantar fasciitis will have
heel spurs), steroid injections into the area can help. They hurt, but do help. There are
also other newer options for this, such as PRP. Your family doctor can do this, though
podiatry and orthopedics can as well.
Surgery—very small group will need this. Surgery does have a success rate, though few
will need to go this route
Here are exercises that you can do to help, though may also need the assistance from a physical therapist
Here are some fun facts about plantar fasciitis.
Though, as with everything, if you are not having the improvement that you would like, or you are getting worse—call your doctor, we can help!
…until next time, #IrishDoc07