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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced plan-tar fash-ee-eye-tiss) is the inflammation of the plantar fasciia.  The plantar fasciia is a strong band of tissue that stretches from the calcaneus (heel bone) to the toes.  When the plantar fascia is stretched too far, the fasciia gets irritated and then inflamed, usually where it attaches to the heel bone. 
Sometimes the fasciia becomes painful in the middle of the arch.  The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is a mechanical one such as having too high or too flat arch.  Other causes could be wearing non-supportive shoe gear (such as a flat shoe or flip-flop sandals) when pounding your feet on hard surfaces while playing sports, running, walking or when standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces.

The typical symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom of the heel that hurts in the morning when you first get up or when you get up from sitting. Typically, after a few steps the pain goes away but frequently worsens again towards the end of the day.  It always returns again the next morning.  The pain may increase over a period of months and may lead to the formation of heel spurs. 

Our ankle and foot surgeons will perform a complete exam at your visit to rule out any other causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis.  Our physicians may order x-rays, a bone scan or MRI to make a definitive diagnosis.  Treatment may include resting from the activity that caused the problem, stretching, icing, not walking barefoot, orthotics, night splints, losing weight, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or cortisone injection.  Other treatment could include a walking cast or physical therapy.  Most patients, we have found, respond to the conservative treatments listed above but, if after several months of non-surgical treatments, you have no improvement, surgery may be indicated.  Our physicians and surgeons at Ankle & Foot of Edmonds will discuss surgical options with you to decide which procedure would be best for you.

The following steps will help prevent plantar fasciitis or help keep the condition from getting worse if you already have it.  We recommend that you wear good supportive shoes, that you stay at a healthy weight and have good exercise habits.  If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that do not put stress on the heel.  Stretching exercises are especially important before sports but are equally important for the non athlete also.  If you stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time, use a thick rubber mat to stand on.  Avoiding going barefoot as this puts stress on your plantar fasciia.

Contact Ankle & Foot of Edmonds to schedule an appointment for Plantar Fasciitis

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