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Plantar Fasciitis

 
 

Plantar Fasciitis AKA Heel Spur Syndrome

This is an inflammation of the ligament called the plantar fascia, running along the arch of   your feet from your heel to your toes. This   ligament becomes strained, "over-used", or acutely torn. Pain tends to be increased in the morning when first getting out of bed, when starting to walk after sitting for awhile or following an increase in activity. This is caused by the ligament repeatedly becoming torn as your body weight is placed on the painful foot. A spur is often seen on x-ray, but is not the true reason of the pain.  Many times a heel spur may be seen on X-rays as an incidental finding, with the patient never having experienced heel pain in the past.  There are times when an X-ray is taken of a heel pain sufferer and there is NOT a heel spur noted.

   

Treatment   

This painful condition is successfully treated by conservative methods.  In 95% of heel pain sufferers the pain is eliminated within 6 months of treatment.   The following steps may also be taken to help ensure a successful treatment and alleviate discomfort.

   

  • Orthotic devices are used to control foot motion and support the plantar fascia.
  •  Wear  supportive footwear such as an athletic shoe constantly to further support the injured ligament.
  •  Oral anti-inflammatory medication is often prescribed; but Aleve and Advil (Ibuprofen) can be purchased over-the-counter.
  •  Applying ice to the painful heel is also helpful.   
  •  Often a special device is dispensed in our office to be worn at night in order to passively stretch the muscles on the back of the calf which reduces the pain on the bottom of the heel significantly.
  •  Steroid (cortisone) injection may be given to dramatically reduce the pain in a short period of time.

   

Surgical correction may be utilized only if conservative modalities fail.