Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of your foot. This makes it extremely difficult and painful to walk or stand. Typical symptoms are: stabbing Pain in the heel, often while walking Shortness of breath while sitting or standing. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are a pain in the heel when walking or standing for long periods or when getting up from a seated position. The Pain usually only lasts for a few seconds and then subsides. Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, and pain when going to the bathroom or when climbing stairs.
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis involves a careful history of your symptoms. In your account, ask about the types of shoes you usually wear, if you have ever had Pain or swelling in your heel spurs, and what treatment you have used in the past. Your doctor will also ask about the details of any prior injury to the foot. He may want to do a bone scan to look for broken bones or other problems involving the fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
The first step in treating plantar fasciitis is to determine the cause. To do this, your doctor will try to rule out viral diseases such as the Epstein-Barr virus or herpes simplex virus, which can be both causes. To confirm a bacterial cause, a scraping of tissue from the heel will need to be taken, and a culture taken from the tissue sample. The doctor may choose to perform a biopsy, which is a process that allows him to look inside the body. Sometimes an infection by fungi can be confused with plantar fasciitis. Therefore, your doctor will have to conduct both diagnostic tests, to be specific.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatments
Once your cause has been determined, your doctor will need to come up with treatment options. These treatments can range from basic first aid measures to more extensive treatments, including surgery and physical therapy. A first-aid measure provides a comfortable place for the patient to sit while the doctor examines the heel. This may include wearing a particular support shoe made to hold the arch in place. If a patient requires only rest for treatment, he may receive local anesthetics and be prescribed pain relievers.
Some patients find that orthotics help relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. An orthotic is a device, often custom-made, that is worn on one foot. It fits over the natural toe and heel, relieving the stress on the calf muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They are available in various forms to address different patient needs. Custom orthotics can be adjusted to fit the patient and their shoes. For instance, some inserts fit under the heel and are adequately worn for the most extended periods at the office, while others are worn only when getting up out of bed or walking around.
In cases of severe heel spurs or bone fractures caused by over-exertion, surgeries may be required. One type of surgery called arthroscopic heel spurs removal is done using a lightweight surgical instrument cut into the heel’s back. The surgeon then inserts a light metal screw or titanium post into the bone. This piece of surgery will require recovery time but will eventually make the pain bearable.
If the pain persists, a doctor may recommend other treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, or cortisone injections. In most cases, if conservative treatments do not eliminate the heel spur, surgery may be necessary to reposition the bone in the heel. Surgery is very effective, but recovery time may be very long. It is essential to continue with your doctor’s treatment plan even after heel spurs go away or plantar fasciitis goes away to prevent re-occurrence.