Painful Heels May be Plantar Fasciitis!

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse, sprain, or inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament which connects the heel of the foot to the toes.  It basically stretches across the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis may often be a result of overuse injury. It often occurs in runners or people who are overweight. It may also cause tension in  surrounding muscles, leading to pain beyond the heel.

A few simple stretches can reduce tension in the foot and calf. This offers both rapid pain relief and a steady improvement of symptoms over time.  Left alone, it can take up to 18 months to resolve on its own.  With treatment including exercises, recovery can be 6 months or less.

Who is at risk for getting plantar fasciitis?

  • Anyone who stands for long periods of time
  • Anyone who walks or runs excessively
  • Being overweight
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Those with a high arch of the foot

What types of exercises can help?

First, lets state that none of these exercises should be painful.  They should be performed 2-3 times per day.

  • Calf stretches
  • Rolling stretch – while sitting roll a ball back and forth under your foot
  • Toe stretch – grab your toes and pull towards the leg
  • Foot stretch – using an elastic band around your foot, press your foot like you would press down on the gas pedal.
  • Toe curls – pick up small objects with your toes by curling them.

What else can help?

  • Massage of the arch and the surrounding muscles
  • Rest, ice the arch, compress the arch with a soft wrap, and elevate your foot while sitting
  • NSAID’s or aspirin can reduce the pain and inflammation
  • Shoe inserts that support the arch
  • Physical therapy that encourages the exercises listed above
  • Injections into the heel area. Please be careful and avoid anyone  who injects blindly, without any image guidance such as ultrasound imaging.  Done blindly, these injections can be more painful afterward. We do offer In Office Anesthesia to make the experience more pleasant.
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy – percussive therapy to the arch and heel

Schedule an appointment or book online with Southwest Pain Management in Las Colinas Irving to discuss all the available options to treat this painful condition.

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