A good goal in life is to have as few reasons to not get out of bed as possible. Heel pain should absolutely not be one of those reasons.
And yet, a great many people awake every day and cringe at the thought of their feet hitting the floor. They know they’ll be met with a sharp, shooting pain through their heels, spending the next few moments hobbling around until things finally start feeling better.
Then they might go to work, or go for a run, and come back only for that pain to arise again.
Symptoms such as these tend to indicate a case of plantar fasciitis. It’s a problem that can be addressed in several ways, but there remain way too many people who believe nothing can be done about it.
We’ll dive more into what plantar fasciitis is and the tools we have to treat it, but we want to say up front: if you have heel pain, it’s not something you need to keep enduring. The experts at Associates in Podiatry can help you!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
If causes of heel pain were gangsters, Plantar Fasciitis would be Public Enemy Number One. It is high on the list of the most common causes of persistent heel discomfort.
The cause of this condition is located within the plantar fascia. This is a sturdy band of tissue that runs alongside the bottom of the foot. It connects the base of the toes to the heel bone in the back.
The plantar fascia is a very strong and important part of our structure. They help form our arches, providing support and distributing our weight across the foot. They are also flexible, bending and snapping back as we move to propel us forward and absorb extra shock.
Yet while the plantar fascia is tough, it’s not invincible. Given too much stress or tension, this band of tissue can develop small tears. It becomes aggravated and inflamed, and that’s what you’re feeling when that jolt of pain runs through your heel.
The reason plantar fasciitis hurts so much only at certain periods has to do with “warming up” the band. When at rest, the plantar fascia will contract, meaning it must stretch more again once you start moving again. Once it has had a chance to stretch some, the pain typically reduces.
Of course, you can be moving quite a lot and aggravate the plantar fascia, too. Running and other sports that place a lot of repetitive impact force on the feet can lead to and aggravate a case of plantar fasciitis.
Other factors that can increase your risk of plantar fascia problems include:
- Working on your feet all day. Jobs such as manufacturing, retail, and any others that involve standing on your feet or stooping much of the day can overstrain the plantar fascia.
- Being overweight can place excess force on the plantar fascia. Weight from pregnancy counts here, too.
- Foot mechanics. Having high arches, flat feet, or any other abnormality can shift the way weight is distributed across the foot, potentially placing too much force on the plantar fascia.
How Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Treated?
The good news about plantar fasciitis is it can often be resolved via conservative treatment methods. In other words, surgery is only necessary in rare cases.
However, it can still take time for your plantar fascia to recover—but we have ways to help with that, too!
Our state-of-the-art Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy is a non-invasive means of accelerating the body’s own natural healing process. It’s a widely used option for athletes when it comes to soft tissue injuries (and the plantar fascia does count as a soft tissue).
MLS laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light energy to penetrate through tissues into the area of an injury (in this case, tiny plantar fascia tears). It not only stimulates cells into a higher recovery mode, but also increases blood flow to the area. This helps deliver more of the oxygen and other elements needed for repairs.
Treatment is conducted over several therapy sessions, with no pain or known side effects. Reductions in pain and swelling tend to be felt after the first treatment and stack with subsequent sessions.
Other forms of treatment and lifestyle changes may also be considered instead of or in conjunction with laser therapy.
Custom orthotics or night splints can help balance any problems with foot structure or gait that have been contributing to plantar fasciitis, helping to relieve pain as well as prevent further damage. Stretching, specific exercises, and other forms of physical therapy might also be recommended.
Surgery is only ever considered as an option if other, conservative methods have not yielded any results. If this comes into the picture, we guarantee we will fully discuss all the pros and cons with you to ensure you decide how to move forward in confidence.
Help for Heel Pain in Princeton and Roselle Park
Whether plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel pain, or another condition has raised its ugly head, our expert staff is here to help you get to the root of the problem and find the relief you deserve.
We have two offices happy and ready to serve your foot and ankle needs. Please call our Princeton office at (609) 924-8333 or our Roselle Park Office at (908) 687-5757 to schedule an appointment or receive answers to any general questions you may have.
Whatever steps you take to address your heel pain, we’ll help you make sure they’re seen through. The worst treatment for chronic heel pain will always be none at all!