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Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms and Causes

Plantar fasciitis - Symptoms and causes

Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, a condition often referred to as heel spur syndrome while some spurs are objects projecting outwards or downwards which can cause stabbing pain. If you have a foot injury, it is critical that you visit a doctor as soon as possible to determine the best treatment.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

 Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the bottom of your feet. It occurs when there’s inflammation to a band of tissue, or fascia, extending from the heel to the toes. It usually starts out as irritation and then progresses into being inflamed which results in painful symptoms at the bottom of our foot area

Plantar fascitis illustration

Causes

People who work long hours on their feet, such as those in the healthcare and retail industries are often susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis. This is especially true for obese individuals or people with flat feet because they put an abnormal strain on their heels when standing which can lead to this condition.

Symptoms

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  1. Painful, throbbing heel pain that worsens with standing and walking.
  2. It may be accompanied by a snapping sensation felt in the back of your foot as you flex it up or down. 
  3. Swelling on the bottom of your heel is also possible along with joint stiffness due to inflammation

If someone is suffering from plantar fasciitis, getting up in the morning or sitting for long periods of time can be very painful. After a few minutes of walking, however, their foot starts to feel better because it stretches out this tight tissue. Sometimes if the pain subsides but returns after spending long amounts of time on one’s feet then medical attention may be needed as that could indicate possible damage to the plantar fascia.

Diagnosis

The foot and ankle surgeon will take your medical history, examine the heel of your foot, rule out all possible causes for pain other than plantar fasciitis. In addition to this process, diagnostic imaging studies may be used. They can distinguish different types of heel pain in patients with plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome but rarely cause discomfort.

Nonsurgical Remedies

To treat plantar fasciitis, begin with home first-line strategies. 

  1. Stretch exercises can ease your pain and assist recovery after a workout or walk.
  2. Avoid going barefoot to prevent undue strain on the heel.
  3. Ice packs reduce inflammation by 20 minutes multiple times per day while placed in thin towels between skin and ice pack for safety reasons!
  4. Rest your heel by limiting activities. 
  5. Wear supportive shoes that have good arch support and a raised heel to reduce stress on the plantar fascia, or wear shoe modifications. 
  6. The appropriate treatment for treating pain and inflammation after oral surgery is to take an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen.

If you have pain after several weeks, it’s a good idea to go see your foot and ankle surgeon. They will likely add one or more of these treatment approaches: 

  1. Softening the impact with padding in the shoe; 
  2. Supporting your feet using taping or strapping;
  3. Correcting structural abnormalities with custom orthotic devices that fit into shoes;
  4. Reducing inflammation by injecting corticosteroids for relief.
  5. If you are experiencing foot pain, a removable walking cast may be used to keep it immobile for several weeks. This is done by attaching an orthopedic felt and fiberglass or plaster-like material around your damaged area before wrapping it with gauze bandages and securing them against the leg using Velcro straps.
  6. A night splint can also provide relief from plantar fasciitis while sleeping; this device keeps toes pointed up at 90 degrees throughout sleep hours – limiting movement that could aggravate symptoms during waking hours. A night splint helps the plantar fasciitis. This device may be useful to you every night when going to bed because muscles typically relax overnight, allowing more room in your ligaments and tendons which reduces pressure on inflamed tissue along arch regions of feet.

Surgical Treatment

To decrease foot and heel pain, surgery is considered the last option. If there is no improvement after several months of non-surgical methods, surgery may be the best option for you. This will help improve your quality of life over time by easing symptoms and improving function in that area.

Long-term Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

In order to prevent further injury or outbreaks, it is important that you continue with preventive measures such as wearing supportive shoes and stretching regularly. Custom orthotic devices are also an effective way of long-term care along with continued physical therapy treatments.

Visit a Podiatrist

If you need to get your foot and/or ankle health back on track, there is no substitute for a podiatrist.

Foot and ankle surgeons are the leading experts in caring for feet & ankles today – they have more education than any other doctor on how exactly your body works! Do not let pain and discomfort hold you back from daily routines. Get in touch with our foot doctors in Katy, Cypress, Copperfield, Galleria, or Memorial to get the treatment that will fix any issues quickly!