Recently we blogged about plantar fasciitis, a common foot ailment treated at Fort Lauderdale Orthopedics. It’s most often experienced by long-distance walkers and runners, as well as athletes who participate in high-impact sports. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot anchored to the bottom of the heel bone. This thick band of tissue is designed to absorb high stresses and strains, but too much pressure can cause microscopic tearing of the tissue, producing heel pain. The good news is that when treated early, most plantar fasciitis symptoms can be resolved with simple methods such as these.
• Exercise. Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your feet and calves. Stretching the arch of your foot and your heel cord (Achilles tendon) is the most effective way to relieve the pain that comes with the condition.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may provide the relief you need. Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication, such as prescription-strength ibuprofen.
• Supportive shoes. Good shoes with extra cushioning in the heel can be very helpful. Soft rubber heel lifts, heel cups or heel wedges for your shoes provide even more support. Avoid shoes that have little padding, or thin and hard leather soles.
• Night splints. Because your fascia tightens up overnight, your doctor may prescribe a night splint to help ease morning heel pain. This splint stretches the Achilles tendon, the plantar fascia, or both while you sleep.
More than 98% of those suffering from plantar fasciitis improve without surgery. However, your doctor may consider surgery after six to 12 months of initial treatment without improvement. For more information about plantar fasciitis and heel pain, or to schedule a consultation, call the office of Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today at (954) 400-5544.