Do you have heel pain? Does your foot ache in the arch in the morning when you take that first step or when you have been on your feet all day? Do you have heel pain? Does your foot ache in the arch in the morning when you take that first step or when you have been on your feet all day? If you do, you probably are suffering from plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a fibrous tissue that arises from the heel and runs all the way up to the toes and when it is over used it can cause moderate to severe pain and in some cases can even be debilitating. However, this is a very common and treatable condition that in most cases can be resolved non-surgically with a treatment program you can do from the comfort of your home. Treatment of this condition after proper diagnosis from a foot and ankle surgeon usually begins with rest and avoiding any physical activities that might aggravate the plantar fasciitis. Icing 20 minutes several times a day also helps reduce the inflammation associated with the condition. Also, it is important to avoid going barefoot. This puts excessive stain on the plantar fascia. Stretching exercises are also critical. Stretching helps not only to stretch the calf muscles but also stretches the plantar fascia to help reduce pain and help with the recovery. Medications are also useful in the treatment process. Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin aid in the reduction of inflammation and pain. Shoe modifications are also important. Wearing the proper shoe and in some cases in combination with a custom orthotics helps to cushion and support the foot and keep the plantar fascia supported to stop excessive strain on the foot. Custom orthotic devices are custom molded to your foot and prevent any biomechanical defects with your foot to help aid in recovery and prevent future recurrences. Night splints are also used at night to keep the plantar fascia stretched to reduce morning pain associated with this condition. Injection therapy can be combined with the above modalities. A corticosteroid regime usually with one or two injections is used to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with this condition. Physical therapy is used commonly to help rehabilitate patients with this condition to not only speed up recovery but also teach the patient how to properly exercise the plantar fascia if future events of this condition arise. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, has emerged as a treatment option available for patients with plantar fasciitis. ESWT delivers a focused shock waves to the heel. There is both a high-energy and low-energy form of ESWT; and both forms of shock wave therapy can be used in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Shock wave therapy is thought to work by creating microtrauma to the tissue that is affected by plantar fasciitis. This microtrauma is believed to initiate healing responses from the body. The healing response caused by the trauma causes the formation of blood vessels and an increase delivery of nutrients to the area thus stimulating a repair process to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. If you have heel pain or think you have this condition give us a call today here at Atlantic Foot and Ankle where the physicians will be happy to diagnosis and discuss treatment options with you.

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