Foot health problems are incredibly widespread – in fact, 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems at one time or another in their lives. One of the most common sources of foot pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. This post explores the basics of plantar fasciitis, causes and symptoms, treatments and whether or not you need to see a podiatrist.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a relatively common case of foot pain caused by athletic injury, improper footwear or other factors that can severely impact comfort when standing and walking. The condition is caused by injury to and subsequent inflammation of the plantar fascia tendon connecting the heel and toe bones in the foot. An initial strain is further affected by micro tears occurring daily, usually simply from walking. This inflammation can be worse after long periods of being off your feet. The pain can be especially sharp and unpleasant in the morning when getting out of bed, since any overnight healing is undone by the first few steps stretching the tendon back out again.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can vary in severity, but generally, the most easily identifiable symptom is a sharp pain near the heel that persists over time. In addition to sharp pain near the heel, symptoms can include general foot pain and soreness, limping, swelling and tenderness in the area. With plantar fasciitis, pain tends to be worse after long periods of rest or after exercise. Symptoms will be slightly different for everyone, but any of these issues could point towards plantar fasciitis.
Should you see a foot doctor?
Generally speaking, plantar fasciitis can be addressed through the use of sole inserts in shoes, stretching and other at-home physical therapy techniques. Yet even these conservative forms of treatment will require consistency to take effect, and it can take several months before the condition fully heals.
If the heel pain is severe or persistent, a podiatrist can help you find medical interventions that are best suited for your situation. Additionally, activity modifications may be recommended, but this may not always be practical for those who spend a large percentage of their workday on their feet.
If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, finding the best podiatrist near you can help you heal effectively to live a more comfortable life. For more information on plantar fasciitis and other common foot health conditions, contact Dynamic Foot and Ankle Center today.