Offering Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in central Indiana

If your first steps in the morning cause a stabbing pain in your heel, you might be among the millions of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. A common ailment in athletes and active individuals, this foot condition causes more than just discomfort. In many cases, it impacts performance on sports teams and diminishes quality of life. Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner, a weekend warrior, or someone facing foot pain without an obvious cause, understanding the condition can be the first step toward healing. Learn more about plantar fasciitis from Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis? 

To understand plantar fasciitis, we first need to know a little about the plantar fascia itself. This thick band of tissue runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes, and supports the arch of your foot. When this ligament is overused or overstretched, it can become inflamed and uncomfortable. This inflammation and degeneration often characterized by stabbing pains in the feet, is diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. 

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis? 

Plantar fasciitis might occur for a combination of several reasons. When you visit Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, we’ll evaluate your condition and may be able to pinpoint a cause. Here are the most common culprits behind plantar fasciitis: 

  • Overuse and Repetitive Strain—Doing the same activities over and over can contribute to foot pain and sports injuries. Athletes, especially runners, are at a higher risk due to repetitive impact on hard surfaces. The continuous stress can cause micro-tears in the fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.
  • Foot Structure—Some foot shapes, such as flat feet or high arches, can distribute weight unevenly when standing and moving. This imbalance puts additional tension on the plantar fascia, leading to discomfort.
  • Weight—Carrying extra pounds will exert more pressure on your feet, especially the plantar fascia. Over time, this can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
  • Inadequate Footwear—Shoes without proper arch support or cushioning often fail to protect the plantar fascia from the stress of daily activities, potentially increasing your chances of pain and inflammation.
  • Aging—The flexibility of the plantar fascia decreases with age, making it more susceptible to injury. This is why plantar fasciitis is most common in people between 40 and 60 years old. Nevertheless, the condition can occur in people of any age. 
  • Certain Jobs—Being on your feet for prolonged periods, especially on hard surfaces, can harm your plantar fascia. Teachers, factory workers, and healthcare professionals (jobs that keep you up and walking around) often feel the brunt of heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Know the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is intense pain in the heel, especially when first taking steps in the morning. Discomfort is also prominent after prolonged periods of sitting, standing, or exercising. Beyond that, patients with plantar fasciitis may experience stiffness or tenderness in the bottom of the foot, making it even more challenging to walk comfortably. 

Diagnosing Orthopedic Conditions 

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, it is essential to consult a specialist for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend treatments ranging from rest and ice to physical therapy or orthotics. In rare cases, surgery may be considered. Here are the two primary ways we diagnose plantar fasciitis:

  • Physical Exams—We often begin with an exam of the painful area. Your physician may press on the bottom of your foot to look for the source of the pain. Sometimes, we ask patients to flex their feet or walk a few steps and describe the sensation. 
  • Imaging—In many cases, an x-ray is necessary to find the root cause of your pain. This rules out other causes of foot pain, sprains, and fractures. 

How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis 

Thankfully, plantar fasciitis treatment is often straightforward. The majority of patients recover within a few months without any invasive treatment. However, it’s important to remember that every case is different, and you should speak with your physician before banking on any one treatment. Learn more about the most common ways of addressing plantar fasciitis: 

Medication

Medication is a tried-and-true plantar fasciitis treatment. Many effective pain relievers, including ibuprofen and naproxen, are available without a prescription. 

Lifestyle Changes 

In combination with pain relievers, lifestyle changes can go a long way to relieving pain. Start stretching more often and switch to exercises that are easier on your feet. Try modifying or avoiding activities that trigger your plantar fasciitis pain. 

Therapy

Physical therapy is often instrumental in relieving plantar fasciitis pain. Our trained specialist can explain the best exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the appropriate leg muscles. In conjunction with physical therapy, we may recommend these types of medical equipment

  • Walking boots 
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) 
  • Night splints 

Medical Procedures 

Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is effectively treated with medication, lifestyle changes, and therapy. However, some stubborn cases require more intensive measures. If your plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to typical treatment, we may recommend one of the following: 

  • Steroid injections—Applying steroid medications to the painful area often provides temporary relief.
  • Minimally invasive tenjet—A seasoned physician can use minimally invasive ultrasounds to direct a probe to the painful tissue. Once the affected area has been located, the probe can break up the damaged tissue to be suctioned out. 
  • PRP injections
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Surgery—In very few cases, surgery is necessary to completely recover from plantar fasciitis. This procedure removes the plantar fascia from the heel bone and is only used in serious cases where other treatments have been ineffective. 

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is very common and keeps too many people from enjoying their daily lives. While plantar fasciitis can sideline you from your favorite activities, preventative measures can help to prevent this condition. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work well for another. However, here are general guidelines for preventing plantar fasciitis: 

  • Invest in supportive shoes with good arch support and cushioning 
  • Reduce body weight to alleviate stress on your feet
  • Make stretching a priority—even simple stretches can improve flexibility and reduce inflammation in the calves and feet 
  • Start a new exercise program that allows you to ramp up activity gradually and avoid straining the plantar fascia 

Meet With a Specialist Today 

Understanding the causes and risk factors of plantar fasciitis can empower athletes and everyday individuals to take proactive steps in foot care. Don’t ignore heel pain, hoping it will just go away—proper attention and care can get you back on your feet, pain-free. If plantar fasciitis is making your life difficult, make an appointment at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. Our specialists in Carmel, Greenwood, Noblesville and Tipton are dedicated to creating a customized treatment plan for you. 

Our Noblesville Forté Fast urgent care clinic will close at 11:00 am on Friday, April 19th.

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