There aren’t a lot of things you can do with injured feet. From running and playing sports to merely walking, having a busted foot can be debilitating and painful.
This is especially true for plantar fasciitis, one of the most common foot ailments, yet one that most people don’t really understand.
The good news is that plantar fasciitis is very treatable. The bad news? You can’t get treatment if you don’t know you have it, and if you can’t articulate what’s going on to your podiatrist, he or she will have a harder time helping you.
Here are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and what a podiatrist can do for you to treat it.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Symptoms
Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue that goes from the bottom of your foot to your toes, connecting your toe bones to your heel bone.
This tissue is thick, but it can be injured by placing a lot of stress and tension on it. It can be difficult to pinpoint an exact cause of this condition, but there are three groups of people who are more vulnerable to coming down with this injury:
- Runners, or athletes who run and jump a lot
- Overweight people
- People who aren’t wearing shoes with proper support
It’s an injury that occurs over an extended period of time more than a single, acute event that happens suddenly – although you can tear your plantar fascia abruptly.
The most common symptom of this condition is sharp, stabbing pain near the heel on the bottom of the foot. You’ll notice pain the most when you start walking after waking up, or after you exercise, or after you sit for an extended period of time then begin walking and moving around.
If you feel fine during exercise, you can still have plantar fasciitis; it tends to be at its worst after you’ve stopped moving and then resume moving. The pain can actually decrease the more you walk around.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
First, you should talk to a foot doctor if you have that sharp, stabbing pain near your heel. He or she can diagnose it more accurately.
If you do have this condition, there are several treatments that have proven to be effective. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve the pain. Physical therapy can also help, as can custom orthotics to help distribute pressure along your feet more evenly.
More serious options include injections and surgery. Surgery isn’t always required, or required in most cases, but it becomes an option when the pain is severe and nothing else seems to help.
If you have symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you should see a podiatrist. Contact a foot doctor today for more information on getting diagnosed and treated so you can be on your way.