Foot and heel pain can really slow you down, keeping you from activities you love and making every step a chore. In many cases, pain that begins in your heel is caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition of the thick band of connective tissue running from your heel to your toes. In some cases, tiny micro tears of the plantar fascia tissue aggravate the condition, increasing pain and prolonging healing time.
Many factors contribute the growing number of cases of plantar fasciitis each year:
• Increased body weight
• Walking and standing on hard surfaces
• Physical inactivity
• Excessive forefoot sports
• Non supportive footwear
• Increased longevity
Plantar fasciitis is a type of overuse injury that grows worse over time unless treated.
• Heel and foot pain first thing in the morning
• Aching and throbbing in the evening
• Pain when standing after long periods of sitting
• Severe pain after sports or exercise
Plantar fasciitis typically progresses through three phases:
Phase I: Pain begins as dull heel pain that may feel like a stone in your shoe, growing worse over three to four weeks’ time. Pain intensifies with weight bearing activity and is at its worst when your feet hit the floor first thing in the morning. Ice, rest, stretching and supportive footwear may help relieve pain.
Phase II: Pain intensifies over six to 12 months, and lasts throughout the day. The patient may become desperate to find a treatment, resorting to cortisone shots and considering surgery.
Phase III: Pain begins to develop in the patient’s “good” foot due to compensatory weight shifting. Pain may also develop in the knees, hips and low back as postural alignment and load-bearing mechanisms shift. Weight gain due to inability to exercise can make matters worse.
Left untreated, pain from plantar fasciitis can last from two to five years. Even after recovery, the condition may return once normal activities are resumed.
The sports medicine professionals at NYDNRehab use diagnostic ultrasonography to visualize the plantar fascia of your foot. Sophisticated video gait analysis technology allows us to visualize and measure forces acting on your foot and to evaluate mechanical deficiencies that cause plantar fasciitis. Treatment may include rest, stretches, exercises and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to disrupt the cycle of pain and inflammation.
You do not have to live with plantar fasciitis pain. Call NYDNRehab today, and set your feet on the road to recovery.