If you are experiencing heel pain after the first few steps when you arise from slumber, or after extended periods of sitting or standing, it could be a sign that you have plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes and up your heel bone. This connective tissue can become stressed and torn from the repetitive shock of landing on your foot during sporting activities like running, basketball and tennis. It also is a common injury for people who are on their feet all day for work.
Some symptoms that you may have from plantar fasciitis include:
- A sharp stabbing pain in the heel, or conversely, a dull, achy pain.
- Extreme tenderness and a burning sensation on the bottom of the foot.
- Stiffness and pain after work or exercise, but usually not during.
It is a good idea to see your podiatrist right away if you are experiencing severe heel pain to rule out other problems and to get on the right track for complete healing.
Treatment options for plantar fasciitis include the following:
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
- Night splints to relieve pressure
- Orthotic shoe inserts for heel and arch support
- Stretching and physical therapy exercises to increase strength and flexibility
Steps you can take to prevent plantar fasciitis include wearing properly fitted shoes, stretching before exercise, trying low impact sports like swimming, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Ignoring the symptoms of plantar fasciitis can lead to developing chronic heel pain. This pain may also cause you to alter the way you walk to avoid putting pressure on certain parts of your foot. That can lead to a misalignment that causes problems with the foot, knee, hip and back, so be sure to have your foot problems professionally evaluated to avoid these additional problems.
The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).