It’s hard to ignore plantar fasciitis, thanks to the stabbing pain it causes on the bottom of your heel. Even though this condition causes pain in the back of your foot, your foot isn't the problem. It's your plantar fascia. This ligament covers the bottom of your foot, stretching from your toes all the way to your heel. When you have plantar fasciitis, this band of tissue becomes irritated and inflamed.
At Foot and Ankle Excellence in Philadelphia, Dr. Bruni Leka is a skilled podiatrist who can help control your plantar fasciitis symptoms and get your inflammation under control.
Identifying the cause of plantar fasciitis
The first step in controlling plantar fasciitis is identifying the cause of your irritation. While you can develop problems with your plantar fascia without an obvious reason, several things can increase your chances of this condition, like being between 40-60 years old.
Additional factors that increase the risk of having plantar fasciitis include:
- Being overweight, obese, or pregnant
- Spending long periods on your feet, especially on hard surfaces
- Participating in long-distance running
- Having high arches or flat feet
Once Dr. Leka determines the cause of your inflammation, she can develop a personalized treatment strategy to get it under control. This usually involves a combination of medical therapies and lifestyle changes.
Medical therapies for plantar fasciitis
Managing plantar fasciitis pain focuses on reducing inflammation in the area. Dr. Leka often uses a variety of nonsurgical treatments designed to relieve stress on your plantar fascia, including:
- Icing the bottom of your foot
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Using custom orthotics or night splints
- Learning activity modification techniques
- Engaging in physical therapy, especially targeted stretches
- Undergoing extracorporeal shock wave therapy
If you have severe pain or symptoms that don’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Leka might recommend surgery. This therapy involves detaching your plantar fascia from your heel.
Lifestyle changes for plantar fasciitis
In addition to medical therapies, Dr. Leka often recommends a variety of self-care changes to help increase your comfort. Common strategies for managing plantar fasciitis often include:
- Losing weight to reduce stress on your plantar fascia
- Wearing supportive shoes with good arch support and shock absorbency
- Avoiding high impact sports, like jogging
- Replacing athletic shoes regularly to protect and cushion your feet
It can take time to recover from plantar fasciitis completely. But, by incorporating the right medical treatments and lifestyle changes, 90% of men and women improve within 10 months.
Find help living with plantar fasciitis, contact us and schedule an appointment today.