Feeling a stabbing heel pain with your first few steps of the morning may be a warning sign of plantar fasciitis. Board-certified podiatrist Bruni Leka, DPM, diagnoses and treats plantar fasciitis at her practice, Foot and Ankle Excellence, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About 2 million people receive treatment for plantar fasciitis each year. If you think you have plantar fasciitis, call or book an appointment online today.
The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue (ligament) that stretches across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis happens when this ligament becomes irritated and inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The pain may feel like a stabbing sensation at the bottom of your heel. The pain is usually worse after exercise rather than during it.
Often, plantar fasciitis pain is most severe first thing in the morning or after a long period of rest, like a car ride. Standing for a long time may also aggravate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
About 1 in 10 people with plantar fasciitis also develop bony growths called heel spurs. Heel spurs are a result of untreated plantar fasciitis, not the cause.
Though the plantar fascia is capable of enduring great stress, too much pressure or exertion can damage the tissue. Your body’s natural response to injury is inflammation, which causes plantar fasciitis.
Certain factors may increase your risk of plantar fasciitis, including:
Activities and occupations that involve repetitive movements, like running, may also increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
First, Dr. Leka listens carefully as you describe your symptoms and medical history. She examines your foot to check for areas of tenderness and limited range of motion in the ankle. She may also take an on-site digital X-ray to look for a heel spur or rule out other causes of heel pain, like a fracture.
Then, Dr. Leka recommends the best course of treatment for your specific condition. More than 90% of people with plantar fasciitis improve within 10 months of nonsurgical treatment, such as:
If your plantar fasciitis pain persists despite treatment, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Leka is a highly trained foot and ankle surgeon.
For compassionate and high-quality care of plantar fasciitis, call Foot and Ankle Excellence or book an appointment online today.