Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis has nothing to do with plants or gardening, although certain gardening activities could stress your feet and cause this condition. It also has nothing to do with fascination, unless you are intrigued by learning about parts of the body and what ails them. The term refers to an inflammation in the bottom (plantar) part of your foot involving the fibrous tissue (fascia) that holds your arch in place.

Why Do I Have Pain in My Heels?

Your body has an unpleasant way of telling you something is wrong: pain! With plantar fasciitis, you will most likely have a problem when you first get up in the morning or when you stand up after sitting still for a long period of time. When you stand up, you will feel a stabbing pain in your heel or under your arch, which may make the first few steps quite excruciating. As you move about more, the pain will begin to subside.

The discomfort is caused by a band of tissue—the plantar fascia—that stretches along the bottom of your feet and connects your heel bone to your toe bones. Like other tissues in your body, this one is susceptible to stretching and tearing if it is stressed.

Standing, walking, running, climbing ladders, and even kneeling back on your heels while gardening can strain the tissue. The pressure increases if you are overweight, have high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, or Achilles tendonsIf your feet roll inward when you take a step, you’re also at risk. The result is damage to the tendon, and it becomes inflamed and swollen. This increases pressure on surrounding tissue and causes the pain in your heel.

What to Do about Heel Pain

The first thing to do is to rest from the activity that is causing the pain and give the fascia time to heal. Sometimes massaging the area will increase the blood flow and promote healing, as well as reduce the pain. You can try icing the painful area for twenty minutes two or three times a day. Avoid walking on hard surfaces as much as possible because this only aggravates the issue. Check out your shoes and replace any that doesn’t have good support for your arches or have no cushioning in the sole because improper footwear also contributes to the problem.

Waukesha’s Expert Podiatrists Can Help

If things don’t improve in a few days or if the pain comes back when you resume activity, you need more stringent care, which means a visit to Waukesha Foot Specialists is in order. We will examine your feet, ask you about symptoms, and perform any tests needed to diagnose the cause of your heel pain. There are many treatment methods used to deal with plantar fasciitis, including splints, pain relievers, and steroid medication. We can also show you stretches and exercises for your toes, feet, and calves that can increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles. Custom orthotics designed specifically for your feet may provide the needed support to stabilize your feet and relieve pain. In extreme cases that do not respond to conservative treatment, we may recommend surgery.

If you have heel pain first thing in the morning, don’t delay. The earlier you catch the problem, the more chance conservative measures will have you enjoying all your normal activities again without pain. Contact Waukesha Foot Specialists at (262) 544-0700. Plantar fasciitis is one of the top conditions we treat, so give us a call and put your heel pain to rest.

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