What Is Plantar Fasciitis? Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Foot & Ankle | November 29, 2022
Plantar Fasciitis

Have you ever experienced stabbing pain in your heel and the bottom of your foot? 

It could be plantar fasciitis, one of the biggest culprits of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is usually characterized as a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel and is especially bad during your first steps after sleeping or sitting for an extended time. 

Plantar fasciitis pain can be so severe that it causes you to alter your gait, opening up the potential for other injuries. 

In this article, we will examine the basics of plantar fasciitis, including: 

  • Causes & Risk Factors 
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment Options 

What Exactly Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Your foot has dozens of bones, ligaments, and other tissue that help you walk and stabilize your body weight while standing. The plantar fascia is a large tissue band that connects your toes to your heel, supporting your foot’s arch, and acts as the “shock absorber” while running or walking. 

When this band of tissue is damaged or stressed, it can develop irritation and inflammation, causing a sharp stabbing pain in your heel. 

Our Foot Specialists Are Ready to Care for You. Call (478) 745-4206 Today!

Risk Factors for Developing Plantar Fasciitis

People can develop plantar fasciitis without any apparent cause, but research indicates that some common risks for developing the condition include: 

  • Standing for extended periods 
  • Obesity 
  • Untreated foot arch issues (flat feet or high arches) 
  • Long distance running 
  • Tight calf muscles/Achilles tendons 

Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis 

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain at the bottom of your foot near the heel area. This pain can be debilitating and cause a temporary limp and change your regular gait. This change in your normal walking and running form can lead to additional injuries if left untreated. 

While the pain is most commonly characterized as “sharp,” you can also experience a dull burning pain in your heel that gradually worsens over time. 

How to Diagnose and Treat Plantar Fasciitis 

When you visit OrthoGeorgia with symptoms indicating plantar fasciitis, our team will ask questions during your evaluation, such as: 

  • When did the symptoms start? 
  • What type of shoes do you typically wear? 
  • What kinds of physical activity do you do? 
  • Are you experiencing pain in other areas of your foot or leg? 

Our examination will also help eliminate other potential conditions or causes of the pain. At times, this can include imaging such as an X-ray or MRI. Different types of foot injuries we’ll check for include: 

  • Bone spurs 
  • Stress fractures 
  • Tendonitis

Once we accurately diagnose your condition, we can recommend the best treatment options to help you find pain relief and enjoy an active lifestyle again. 

Some of these treatment options can include: 

  • Specialty Athletic Shoes 
    • The team at OrthoGeorgia can fit you with athletic shoes designed for your specific foot type. Every foot is unique, and wearing shoes to provide adequate arch and heel support can relieve plantar fasciitis pain. 
  • Ice & Stretching 
    • Because plantar fasciitis causes inflammation, rolling a frozen water bottle under your foot reduces swelling and pain. Our team can also show you stretches for your foot, calf, and Achilles tendon to relieve stress on your plantar fascia. 
  • Brace
    • The OrthoGeorgia team may recommend a specialty brace designed to reduce your pain from plantar fasciitis. Often worn during the night, the brace supports and stretches the tissues in your foot, reducing the stabbing pain usually experienced in the morning. 
  • Injection
    • You may experience pain relief after receiving an injection in your heel. The injection’s pain-relieving effects can last several months. 
  • Surgery
    • Some patients may continue to experience pain after nonsurgical treatment. The team at OrthoGeorgia can discuss surgical options if necessary.

Trust the Orthopaedic Experts at OrthoGeorgia! 

Get back to doing what you love! 

Since our founding more than 60 years ago, elite athletes and weekend warriors across the state have relied on OrthoGeorgia to provide cutting-edge orthopaedic care. 

Our elite team of specialists, surgeons, and occupational and physical therapists are the go-to choice for people in Georgia seeking to enjoy an active life free from pain. 

We’re Ready to Care for You and Your Family. Call Us at (478) 745-4206 Today! 

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Personalized Orthopaedic Care in Central Georgia

At OrthoGeorgia, we want to help you live a healthier and more comfortable life by giving those in Macon, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Dublin, Griffin, and the surrounding areas convenient access to the highest quality care. Whether you have been suffering from a sports injury or a common orthopaedic condition, we will determine the cause of your discomfort and craft a personalized treatment plan to bring you relief. To learn more about our services and our physicians, or to schedule an appointment at OrthoGeorgia, please contact us today.

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