Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition in the foot that typically occurs when you get out of bed in the morning or stand after being in the seated position for an extended period of time. If this sounds familiar, you could have plantar fasciitis, and there are some at-home treatments you can try to help relieve your symptoms. But if your foot pain gets out of hand, Dr. Ankur Dharia at Jersey Foot and Ankle Institute specializes in getting to the bottom of your foot pain so you can get back to a pain-free life.
Understanding plantar fasciitis
Beneath the bones and ligaments in your feet is a long, wide band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the bones in your toes. When that band is torn, stretched too far, or inflamed, it causes extreme pain known as plantar fasciitis.
Knowing the risk factors
Runners are often the most at risk for developing plantar fasciitis. However, there are other risk factors for developing this condition, including:
- The anatomy of your foot (i.e., having high or flat arches)
- Wearing high-heeled or unsupportive shoes
- Age; especially if you are over 40
- Being overweight or pregnant and putting more pressure on your feet
- Some medical conditions like arthritis can cause plantar fasciitis
- Strenuous and high-intensity exercises that put pressure on the feet
- Remaining on your feet for long periods of time due to your occupation or activities
If you’ve experienced any pain in your foot and have some of these risk factors, it is important that you make an appointment at Jersey Foot and Ankle to discuss your treatment options.
Tips for living with plantar fasciitis
There are a few things you can do at home to alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis:
Stay at a healthy weight
The heavier you are, the more pressure and weight you put on your feet. Staying at a healthy weight can reduce the stress put on your feet.
Ice and stretch
You can try very gently stretching or even massaging your feet. Soaking your feet in an ice bath can also minimize discomfort.
Wear supportive shoes
Are your shoes worn out? Do they simply not have supports in them? You should always wear shoes that have a low-to-moderate heel, excellent support for your arch, and shock absorbency.
Try a new sport
Jogging might be your favorite way to get exercise, but it may be contributing to your symptoms. Try a more low-impact sport, like biking, swimming, or even yoga, to reduce the stress put on your feet.
If you’ve tried these at-home remedies and still can’t alleviate your pain, call us at Jersey Foot and Ankle to discuss your treatment options before your plantar fasciitis gets any worse.
What are my treatment options?
Although very painful, plantar fasciitis is actually a common condition with many treatment options, most of which are noninvasive. Dr. Dharia and his team review your symptoms and potential paths to relief. He may recommend the following:
Physical therapy aims to do a couple of things: strengthen and stretch. For your plantar fasciitis, a physical therapy session will include a series of exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles in your lower leg and gently stretch the affected tissue. During your physical therapy session, you may also learn how to use athletic tape to support the bottom of your foot.
While you sleep, your feet are pointed down, which shortens the long, wide tissue affected in plantar fasciitis. Dr. Dharia may prescribe a night splint to keep your foot at a 90-degree angle while you’re sleeping, which delivers a constant, gentle stretch. Once your pain subsides, you can stop wearing the splint.
Orthotics are a great way to provide constant support to your foot. These inserts reduce the stress and stretching on your foot when you stand or walk. There are two different kinds of insoles: standard and custom. Custom orthotics are your best option for relief as they are expertly created and specially designed for you and your situation. Dr. Dhairia can prescribe a custom-designed pair.
Sometimes, you may need a little more help to relieve the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Dr. Dharia may recommend a steroid injection in some cases to help reduce inflammation and of course pain.
Very rarely does a case of plantar fasciitis require surgery, and Dr. Dharia and the team at Jersey Foot and Ankle will do everything to keep your treatment as noninvasive as possible.