| Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Phoenix and Scottsdale
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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. With this condition, there is inflammation of the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects to the heel bone to your toes. It usually causes a deep stabbing pain that can hurt even before standing, but worsens with first steps in the morning or after sitting awhile. Moving around helps the pain associated with plantar fasciitis sometimes, but there are times when nothing seems to help. Long periods of standing may bring pain on.

Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners or people who are overweight. Shoes without proper support may risk experiencing plantar fasciitis as well. Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Changing the way you walk to minimize plantar fasciitis pain might lead to foot, knee, hip, or back problems.

Incidence/Prevalence

Among professional football, basketball, and baseball physicians and trainers, plantar fasciitis was one of the five most common foot injuries observed. Addition, 1 million patients see a healthcare provider each year regarding plantar fasciitis. The condition affects 10% of runners, and accounts for 11% of all foot symptoms requiring medical care.

Causes

The plantar fascia act like a shock-absorbing bowstrings, supporting the arch in your feet. Tension and stress on that bowstring become too great causing small tears that can arise in the fascia. In many cases, repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. Plantar fasciitis may seem to happen without any obvious reason. A few factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:

  • More common among 40 to 60 years of age.
  • Occupations that keep you on your feet. There are thousands of jobs which may keep you on your feet or sitting on hard surfaces. All of these jobs can cause plantar fasciitis.
  • Certain types of exercise. Extra stress on the heel and surrounding tissue may be affected by certain activities, including but not secluded too, aerobic and ballet dancing, long-distance running, basketball, volleyball… and many more.
  • Foot mechanics. The way your foot is formed matters when dealing with a foot disorder. Having flat feet, high arch, or even having an unusual way of walking can affect the way weight is distributed. Even the way you stand may affect your feet.
  • Excess weight may put extra stress on your plantar fascia.

Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis is a deep throbbing and sickening pain. You may find yourself deep massaging your heel with much discomfort, yet it also brings relief at the same time. It’s extremely painful to stand on the feet when plantar fasciitis is at its worst. Many times, upon awakening, and with walking, the pain returns and you can feel it before you get out of bed. Not using your feet can hurt your heel yet using it too much is as equally painful.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is made based on the medical history and physical examination. During the exam, your Phoenix foot and ankle doctor will check for areas of tenderness in your foot. Where your pain is situated can help determine the cause. Usually, no tests are necessary. Your doctor might suggest an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to make sure your pain isn’t being caused by another problem, such as a stress fracture or a pinched nerve. Sometimes an x-ray shows a spur of bone projecting forward from the heel bone. In the past, these bone spurs were often blamed for heel pain and removed surgically. However, many people who have bone spurs on their heels have no heel pain.

Treatment

Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching. Arch supports (orthotics), may bring some people great comfort especially after weeks of wearing them. A podiatrist will fit your feet for them.

  • Medications – Pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Steroid shots have been given to the foot for more severe conditions.
  • Physical therapy – Stretching and strengthening exercises or use of specialized devices will bring great comfort if you stick with it. This helps you with exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. It will also stabilize your ankle and heel.
  • Night splints – This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight and facilitates stretching.
  • Orthotics – As mentioned above, your doctor may prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to add to your shoes, which add extra support.
  • Injections – This involves injecting a type of steroid medication into the tender area, which can provide temporary pain relief.
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy – In this procedure, sound waves are directed at the area of heel pain to stimulate healing. This procedure might cause bruising, swelling, pain, numbness, or tingling.
  • Tenex procedure – Without surgery, this smaller invasive procedure removes the scar tissue of plantar fasciitis.
  • Surgery – The surgical procedure isn’t often done. It is used to remove the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It’s generally an option only when the pain is severe and all else fails. Side effects include a weakening of the arch in your foot.

Resources

Bolívar YA, Munuera PV, Padillo JP. Relationship between tightness of the posterior muscles of the lower limb and plantar fasciitis. Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Jan. 34(1):42-8.

Moseley JB Jr, Chimenti BT. Foot and ankle injuries in the professional athlete. Baxter DE, ed. The Foot and Ankle in Sport. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby-Year Book; 1995. 321-8.

Riddle DL, Pulisic M, Pidcoe P, Johnson RE. Risk factors for Plantar fasciitis: a matched case-control study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003 May. 85-A(5):872-7.

Werner RA, Gell N, Hartigan A, Wiggerman N, Keyserling WM. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis among assembly plant workers. PM R. 2010 Feb. 2(2):110-6; quiz 1 p following 167.

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