If you have pain and stiffness in the heel of your foot, you may have a problem called plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot complaints. It occurs when the thick tissue located on the bottom of your foot (called the plantar fascia) becomes swollen and inflamed from overuse. The result is irritation and stiffness that makes it difficult to walk without pain.
Preventing plantar fasciitis
Some people are more likely to get plantar fasciitis, including men aged 40-70 and people with high arches or flat feet. However, there are some factors you can control that may help prevent you from getting plantar fasciitis, including:
- Avoid running on uneven surfaces.
- Lose weight to take stress off your feet.
- Reduce long distance running if you notice symptoms.
- Stretch your Achilles tendon if it is tight.
- Wear shoes that provide good support.
Healing plantar fasciitis
Non-surgical treatment options will usually improve your symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Your doctor may recommend:
- Applying ice twice each day.
- Heel stretching exercises.
- Medication, such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and swelling.
- Resting your feet for a week or more.
- Shoe inserts to pad the heel area.
- Splints, worn at night to stretch the fascia.
- Switching to shoes with better support.
Other, more advanced treatments, may be needed if your plantar fasciitis does not improve. These include:
- Steroid shots in your heel.
- Wearing a boot cast to keep pressure off your heel.
- Wearing custom made shoe inserts called orthotics.
These non-surgical treatments work most of the time to heal plantar fasciitis. Schedule an appointment with our Sports Medicine physicians for a treatment plan tailored to you. Call (859) 212-5600 to make an appointment.
If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.