What is Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain in adults between ages 40 and 60 that involves inflammation of the fibrous tissue at the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia). This causes stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot, near the heel. It is usually felt in the morning, with the first few steps of the day and can also be triggered by standing after long periods of sitting.
The plantar fascia acts as the shock absorber supporting the arch of the foot. Tension and stress to the bottom of the foot creates small tears in the tissue that leads to Plantar Fasciitis. Risk factors include increased pressure on the feet, such as obesity, prolonged standing, and flat feet. Plantar fasciitis may also be due to an injury by repetitive trauma on the bottom of the feet, commonly seen in runners.
Chronic Foot Pain
Plantar Fasciitis is a gateway to more advanced complications as it worsens. If left untreated, the treatment process will take longer and the risk of more complicated foot condition increases. Neglecting the condition may lead to tears in the plantar fascia which results in increased pain. This would make the plantar fascia vulnerable to rupture.
A plantar rupture occurs where the foot becomes swollen and cause intense foot pain notable after a popping sound in the foot. A rupture may occur during active exercise or even standing for a long period of time while wearing improper footwear.
Plantar fasciitis can also put you at risk for heel spurs which occur when there is a build-up of calcium deposits which can cause pain when you are walking as they dig into the pad of your heels. This build-up can go undetected for months while deposits are sent in order to protect and manage your foot’s arch and address the damage caused by plantar fasciitis.
Neglecting the condition may also lead to nodule growth along the plantar fascia which is a benign condition known as plantar fibromatosis and can develop slowly while going undetected until initiation of rapid growth that leads to great discomfort or heel pain.
Though you are not necessarily feeling pain or discomfort in your foot at the time, you never know what is going on inside your body which can prove to be a serious complication that will cause you intense pain in the future. It is always a good idea to be safe and put your health first by recognizing the problem first and taking steps to address the problem as early as possible.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis can be diagnosed by one of our doctors performing a physical exam to check for tenderness in foot and the exact location of the pain. This is to make sure that it is not the result of a different foot problem. The diagnosis begins by flexing the foot while the doctor applies pressure to the plantar fascia. The doctor will then examine if the heel pain worsens as the foot is flexed and better as the toes are pointed.
Noninvasive Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a noninvasive procedure used in the treatment of heel pain causing conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis. Shock waves are transmitted to interrupt pain receptors of the inflamed area at the cellular level and promote new blood vessel growth to initiate healing process. ESWT has been widely used for treating heel pain due to plantar fasciitis, because of its convenience for the daily life of patients. It is non-surgical and noninvasive with a fast recovery time.