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Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Treatment Options

Pain in your heel may be a sign of plantar fasciitis, a foot condition that affects the tough band of tissue connecting your heel to your toes. Fortunately, your Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Warren Levy, offers several treatments that can relieve your pain.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The condition occurs when your plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The fascia runs under the bottom of your foot and supports your arch. If you have plantar fasciitis, you may dread waking up in the morning because your first few steps are so painful.

Pain can also occur when you start moving again after sitting or being inactive for a while. Surprisingly, most people don't notice any pain when they exercise. However, pain tends to flare up as soon as they stop the activity.

How did I get plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused when the fascia is strained or tiny tears develop, triggering inflammation. You may be at risk of developing the condition if:

  • You're Female: Women are more than twice as likely as men to experience plantar fasciitis symptoms.
  • You're Overweight: Extra weight puts added pressure on your feet and the fascia.
  • You're Middle-Aged or Older: Aging can flatten the foot slightly, which may stress the fascia.
  • You Have Certain Foot or Leg Problems: Tight calf muscles or high arches are risk factors for plantar fasciitis.
  • You Stand a Lot: Retail workers, teachers and others who stand for long periods are more likely to be affected by the condition.
  • "No Pain, No Gain" Is Your Motto: Training too hard or too long, or suddenly increasing the intensity of your workout can put you at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

What treatment options does my Lincoln Park foot doctor offer?

Your podiatrist may recommend that you wear a night splint while you sleep. The splint keeps your ankle in a neutral position, gently stretching the muscles in your calf and foot. Physical therapy may also be recommended to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

Orthotics, custom-designed shoe inserts, offer a simple way to ease plantar fasciitis pain. The inserts support and cushion your foot, keep it properly aligned and help absorb shock generated when your foot strikes the ground.

Cortisone injections can be helpful if over-the-counter medications don't relieve your pain. Treatment may also involve extracorporeal shockwave therapy, a treatment that uses low-energy shockwaves to improve your symptoms. Shockwave treat eases pain, improves blood flow to your tissues and promotes healing.

Although most people don't need surgery, it may be an option if other treatments aren't effective.

Don't let heel pain keep you from enjoying life! Call your podiatrist in Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, Dr. Levy, at (312) 266-6326 to schedule an appointment.

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