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Plantar Fasciitis: Why Your Heel Hurts

Some individuals have a hard time waking up in the morning, but it is even worse when they are greeted with intense heel pain. This symptom—sharp pain under your heel first thing in the morning—is likely the result of an ailment known as plantar fasciitis. There are treatment options for this common injury, but first you need to be able to identify it correctly.

Plantar Fasciitis Facts

Plantar FasciitisYou might not be aware of this, but you have a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot called your plantar fascia. This tissue is responsible for supporting your foot arch and absorbing the force that comes with walking, running, and jumping. When the tissue is overworked, it becomes stretched and sustains tears. This leads to inflammation and pain.

A sharp, stabbing pain is the primary symptom of this condition. This is especially evident when it happens in the morning upon waking or whenever you start to move following extended periods of sitting or standing in one place. You may also experience it following exercise.

Risk Factors for Fascia Problems

This condition is rather common, but there are factors that can make it more likely. These include foot structure, age, and obesity. Individual who have either high or low arches are more likely to develop problems with the ligament, as are those who fall between 40-60 years of age. Those who are overweight put excess stress up on the plantar fascia when they walk or stand, and this places them at greater risk for this injury.

Changes in physical activity or running long distances can also lead to this condition. For this reason, it is important that you ease into activities—increase levels of intensity, duration, and frequency by no more than ten percent per week—and warm up and stretch properly beforehand.

Treatment Options for Your Heel Pain

Conservative treatment methods are often quite successful for plantar fasciitis and surgery is rarely required. Given the nature of the condition—an overworked band of soft tissue—strengthening and stretching activities can be an essential component of treatment. If you are able to perform the basic strengthening and stretching routines on your own, you may able to do this in the comfort of your own home. If you feel more comfortable having the guidance of a professional, physical therapy might be right for you.

In addition to stretches and strengthening, we may prescribe orthotics to help redistribute pressure and body weight more evenly, thereby reducing strain on the plantar fascia. An icing routine—typically two or three 15-minute sessions during the day—and medication can help to alleviate symptoms like pain and inflammation. The medication will often be a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like naproxen or aspirin.

The conservative treatment methods are usually rather successful, but you might need additional measures like steroid shots or surgery. When we recommend steroid shots, they are often done for temporary pain relief and used in moderation. It is important that they be used sparingly because the fascia can weaken or even rupture when multiple injections are used. At Dallas Podiatry Works, we offer a simple treatment called Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT) to use pressure waves to accelerate your natural healing processes. Surgery is rarely required, but there are a distinct minority of cases where the severe pain is not responding to conservative options. In such an instance, we will discuss this so you completely understand your options and know what to expect.

The Professional Care You Need

When you experience sharp, stabbing pain first thing in the morning, come in to see if plantar fasciitis is the culprit. Make an appointment today with Dallas Podiatry Works and let us provide the expert care you need. You can call us at 972.853.7100 or use our online form to request an appointment at either our Plano or Dallas, TX offices.

Your Top-Rated Podiatrist in Dallas & Beyond

The doctor has great “bedside manners” when talking to patients. Great staff and comfortable atmosphere.

Derrick W.

The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of foot care.

Joseph B.

I would highly recommend Dr. Brook to anyone with foot problems–especially problems that stump other podiatrists. He really is very caring and very knowledgeable.

Jeannette H.

Dr. Joel Brook and the staff were nice and helpful. Though I was a new patient, I got right in as soon as they were open in my preferred location. They diagnosed the problem and provided medicines along with a perfect gel bandage so I could keep exercising while my toes healed. My toes already hurt less and look a little better each day. If I have future issues, I will be a repeat customer. Here’s hoping I don’t, but at least I know my feet are in good hands.

Meryl E.

I visited this office for an ingrown toe nail a few years ago. After seeing another doctor, who made it worse, he referred me to Dallas Podiatry Works. The doctor there was able to fix my problem. I’m not great with reviews, all I can tell you is that this doctor and staff will have you up and running or doing whatever it is you do in no time. You will be in great hands. You’d be a fool not to use this doctor. Now its time to visit him again for the other toe.

Google User

Been having bad ankle pains for 6 months was referred here and it was a great visit ladies in the front desk medical assistants and the Doctor were all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable.

Elizabeth G.

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