What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain (also known as Jogger’s Heel or Plantar Fasciopathy) is a common foot ailment that affects millions of people each year. The band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot (your Plantar Fascia) becomes inflamed or irritated causing pain in your heel or stiffness in your foot. A few common factors that affect Plantar Fasciitis are having extremely high arches, being obese or having very tight calf muscles. Lowering your weight if you are obese, or doing fewer repetitive impact movements such as in running or sports, may help decrease your risk of developing this condition. Stretching your calf muscles frequently is also extremely helpful to promote flexibility between your calves, shins, and feet.
For Plantar Fasciitis, whether it’s mild or severe, it is best to consult with your podiatrist before attempting to treat yourself. However, here are a few things you can do to get the healing process started before your appointment.
- Rest - Stay off of your feet as much as possible and eliminate any movements that involve repetitive stress on your heels.
- Ice - Roll a bottle of ice from your toes to your heels, and back to your toes for 20 minutes at a time, up to 3-4 times a day.
- Stretch - Stretch your calves and your Plantar Fascia multiple times a day. Start in the morning (usually when the pain is most severe) before you get ready for the day.
- Shoe Inserts - Insert silicone or gel cushions in your shoes to help support your arches and reduce tension from every step. Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) although more expensive, can also be very helpful.
Plantar Fasciitis can take many months to heal. If the above options do not help, more aggressive treatment can be prescribed. Here at Foot & Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ, P.C., Dr. Abrams has been treating patients with podiatric ailments since 1997 and can provide excellent treatment options to speed up your recovery.
Although there is no guarantee that Plantar Fasciitis will not strike again, it can be stopped before it becomes full blown. Even if there is only mild pain it is always good to prevent the symptoms from getting worse by immediately implementing the above treatments. The faster you can recognize that something is wrong, the less damage will have been done, and the faster you will be able to heal. For any additional questions you may have about how you can treat your Plantar Fasciitis, please feel free to contact us or make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Eatontown or Toms River NJ.
Recently, a groundbreaking study concluded that their treatment combining ultrasound with steroid injections was 95% effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot problem affecting the plantar fascia, a connective tissue in the heel. This condition is treatable, but in many cases can take up to a year to be effective.
Conventional treatments have included exercises, rest, arch supports, and night splints. If this proves to be inaffective, many patients undergo shockwave therapy. In shockwave therapy, sound waves are directed to the area where pain is experienced. This therapy can be affective, but is somewhat painful, and calls for several sessions. Even still, shockwave therapy does not always alleviate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., from the University of Genoa in Italy, conducted the study. The new treatment involves an ultrasound-guided technique with a steroid injection to the plantar fascia. It is a one time out patient procedure involving a small amount of anesthesia. Then an anesthetic needle punctures the affected area. This technique, known as dry needling, causes small amounts of bleeding that aid in healing the fesci.
It was discovered that 42 of the 44 patients involved in the study had their symptoms disappear entirely within three weeks. “This therapy is quicker, easier, less painful, and less expensive than shockwave therapy” Sconfienza stated. “In cases of mild plantar fasciitis, patients should first try noninvasive solutions before any other treatments. But when pain becomes annoying and affects the activities of daily living, dry-needling with steroid injection is a viable option," she added.