American Heart MonthWhether you’re an athlete or a worker who spends most of their day on their feet, you’re probably familiar with a little foot pain. But when is it more than just a little soreness? Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain and the #1 cause of chronic heel pain in America. If you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis, it’s important to be able to identify it and seek help from the best podiatrist near you.

At South Texas Podiatrist, Dr. Davis is passionate about educating his patients on the potential causes of foot pain so they can seek out medical treatment when they need it. Here’s what you need to know about plantar fasciitis if you’re living with pain in your heel:

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is named for the plantar fascia, which is a rubbery band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. The plantar fascia is an important part of your foot: it works to provide cushioning for your foot, support your arch, and absorb the impact of every step. Because it’s front and center every time you step, the plantar fascia can be prone to overuse or even tiny micro-tears, which causes inflammation in the area. When that inflammation becomes serious and causes you heel pain, this is what’s known as plantar fasciitis.

Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The hallmark symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in the heel, which is often described as “stabbing” or “burning” and sometimes builds up over a period of time. You may feel a small amount of pain in your heel one day, and days later, it comes back and feels significantly worse. This is common in cases of plantar fasciitis, as are a variety of pain responses that include:

  • Pain when you first wake up, especially when you first put your feet on the ground
  • Pain after a period of physical activity
  • Pain when trying to flex your foot upward

If any of the following symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s very likely that you’re living with a case of plantar fasciitis.

Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis; When To See A Podiatrist?

While anyone can potentially develop plantar fasciitis, certain lifestyle factors and physiological factors can put you more at risk than others. Some of the most common risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:

  • An excessively pronated (rolled inward) foot that puts pressure on the plantar fascia
  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Participating in sports that involve running or jogging
  • Having weakened flexor muscles in the bottoms of the feet

While some of these risk factors – such as weakened foot muscles and frequent running and jogging – are within your control, others are just a result of the way your body has naturally developed. If physiological concerns such as flat feet are often causing you to develop plantar fasciitis and other conditions that cause you pain, you may consider having them corrected by a highly-trained podiatrist like Dr. Davis.

Finding Relief From Heel Pain With San Antonio, TX’s Best Foot Doctor

The good news is, if you’re struggling with heel pain as a result of plantar fasciitis, there are several treatment options available to help you find relief in both the short term and the long term. For many people who live with plantar fasciitis, orthotics – a type of insert that goes in your shoe to correct your foot’s movement, offer extra support, and provide stability to your foot’s structure – are helpful in relieving their heel pain. However, store-bought inserts aren’t always enough to offer relief, and many patients continue to buy them over and over again without addressing their pain at the source. Custom foot orthoses as prescribed by a qualified podiatrist are actually designed for your individual needs, and can often be the only thing necessary to treat plantar fasciitis and other lower extremity concerns. Your podiatrist will create a custom orthosis by fashioning a three-dimensional model of your foot, ensuring that your treatment is completely personalized.

If orthoses aren’t enough to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with plantar fasciitis, it may actually be a case of “plantar fasciosis,” and there are other treatment options available. At South Texas Podiatrist, we utilize extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), which applies pressure waves to damaged tissues in order to rebuild your diseased tendon. This is considered a curative treatment rather than a temporary one that only addresses the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Heel pain due to plantar fasciitis doesn’t just hurt – it can interrupt your life, make work extremely difficult, and even force you to sit out from the fun stuff. At South Texas Podiatrist, we offer long-term relief from plantar fasciitis using the most cutting-edge techniques available in the field today.

With 20+ years of experience providing top-quality foot care, South Texas Podiatrist is here to help you get back on your feet. If you’re ready to experience care from the best podiatrist San Antonio has to offer, schedule an appointment with us today.