Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in Southern California
Plantar fasciitis develops when the thick band of connective tissue that connects your toes to your heel bone — known as the plantar fascia — becomes inflamed. The condition is extremely common, and it can affect adults of any age or ethnicity. Although plantar fasciitis can be painful, our Southern California foot and ankle doctor can help.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Heel pain is one of the most common plantar fasciitis symptoms. The plantar fascia stiffens up while you’re asleep, so the heel pain is usually worse in the morning than in the evening. You may feel like your heel is bruised or like you’re stepping on a piece of glass when you touch your heel to the ground. Many people describe this sensation as a stabbing pain.
Plantar fasciitis can develop in almost anyone, but some people have a higher risk than others. You may develop plantar fasciitis if any of the following apply:
- Exercise: Running, aerobic dance and ballet can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis because these activities place a great deal of stress on your heel.
- Age: Plantar fasciitis usually affects people in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
- Obesity: The more weight you carry, the more pressure you put on your heels when you walk.
- Tight calf muscles: If you have tight muscles in your calves, you may change your gait to compensate for the tightness. Your new gait may put more pressure on the plantar fascia, causing inflammation and discomfort.
- High arches: When your arches are higher than normal, you tend to put more weight on the heels and balls of your feet, increasing the risk for plantar fasciitis.
- Low arches: If you have low arches, your feet don’t absorb shock as well as they should, making it more likely you’ll have plantar fasciitis pain.
- Standing frequently: Your risk is higher if you work in an occupation that requires you to stand for long periods of time, such as a teacher or factory worker.
You can get plantar fasciitis diagnosed by visiting an experienced foot and ankle doctor at Align Foot & Ankle Center. During your appointment, the doctor will examine the bottom of the foot and ask questions about your heel pain. You’ll also be asked to provide information about your medical history, such as whether you’ve ever had heel spurs or problems with your ankles or calves.
There are several ways to treat plantar fasciitis. Conservative treatments include massage, stretching the plantar fascia, using ice and heat to relieve discomfort, wearing night splints and wearing supportive shoes. Your foot and ankle doctor may also recommend custom orthotics, which are devices used to support your feet. Custom orthotics are designed based on a mold of your foot, ensuring they fit you perfectly and provide as much support as possible. If your heel pain persists despite using these conservative measures, your foot and ankle doctor may recommend physical therapy, steroid injections and/or anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation.
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"I've always believed in exhausting conservative treatment over surgery. Over the years in practice, I've kept many people out of the operating room. Even then, the patients who have been taken to surgery are extremely pleased with their results. I will do all I can to get you moving again...without pain or discomfort!"
Dr. Hai-En Peng