One of the most likely causes of persistent heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the soles of your feet. If you have symptoms of plantar fasciitis, board-qualified podiatrist Patrick Levine, DPM, of Elite Foot and Ankle in Burbank, California, can help. Dr. Levine excels in using conservative treatments to resolve heel pain, but if you need surgery, he is also one of the best-trained foot and ankle surgeons in the Los Angeles area. Call Elite Foot and Ankle today to find out more or book an appointment using the online form.
Plantar fasciitis is a troublesome disorder that affects the heel of your foot. The plantar fascia is a belt of tough, elastic tissue that stretches from your heel to your toes. It supports the arch in your foot. Plantar fasciitis develops because of inflammation in the plantar fascia.
People who have plantar fasciitis frequently describe the pain as being worse when getting out of bed in the morning or after they’ve been sitting for long periods. After a few minutes of moving, the pain decreases because exercise stretches the fascia. In some cases, while the pain subsides with physical activity, it returns if you spend a long time on your feet.
Plantar fasciitis typically develops in people who have problems with their arches, either flatfeet or high-arched feet. Wearing non-supportive footwear, especially if you often walk on hard, flat surfaces, can lead to plantar fasciitis. Being overweight or obese and overuse of your feet can also make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
To arrive at a diagnosis, Dr. Levine reviews your medical history and examines your foot. Throughout this process, he rules out all possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis, including tendinitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or a fracture.
In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as X-rays or CT and MRI scans can be useful to distinguish different causes of heel pain. Elite Foot and Ankle has onsite X-ray facilities for your convenience.
Sometimes patients with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs (bony growths), but these are rarely a source of pain. When heel spurs are present, Dr. Levine might diagnose plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
You can begin treatment for plantar fasciitis at home by:
If you’re still in pain after several weeks, Dr. Levine might recommend treatment processes such as custom orthotic devices, injection therapy, and physical therapy.
Most patients who have plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatments like these. However, a small number might need surgery. If you continue to have heel pain after several months of nonsurgical treatment, Dr. Levine reviews the options with you.
Surgery typically involves performing a plantar release procedure, in which Dr. Levine cuts part of the plantar fasciitis to relieve tension and swelling.
Plantar fasciitis could come back even after treatment if the underlying causes of your condition remain. Therefore, you should take preventive measures. These could include wearing correctly fitting, supportive shoes, doing regular stretching exercises, and using custom orthotic devices.
If you’re experiencing heel pain, you should get it checked as soon as possible. Plantar fasciitis can become much more challenging to treat if you wait, so call Elite Foot and Ankle today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Levine or book an appointment online.