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Living with Plantar Fasciitis

Mar 13, 2024
Most people don’t know what or where their plantar fascia is — until they suddenly begin experiencing sharp, stabbing heel pain first thing in the morning. Here, our team offers expert tips for living with plantar fasciitis.   

Navigating life with plantar fasciitis can get tricky. It’s one of the most common causes of heel pain, and symptoms usually start with your first step in the morning. While you may notice decreasing discomfort as you move around, plantar fasciitis pain can worsen again following periods of prolonged standing or sitting.

Our team at Metroplex Foot & Ankle, LLP, are here to help. We provide outstanding foot and ankle care for individuals of all ages in Dallas, Garland, and Richardson, Texas. Helping you navigate the frustrations of plantar fasciitis is one of our specialties.

Read on to learn more about the causes and treatments available for plantar fasciitis.  

Understanding plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. The fascia supports the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber when you’re walking or running.

Unfortunately, heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis can last several months to a year or longer, interfering with mobility along the way. Additionally, the hobbling gait you adopt to favor the unaffected foot can eventually cause problems in your ankles, knees, hips, and back.

What causes plantar fasciitis?  

The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is unclear, but we know that stress and strain can cause small microtears in the fascia tissue, leading to irritation and inflammation. Several factors can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Being aged 40 or older
  • Carrying excess weight
  • Biomechanical issues such as flat feet or high arches
  • Activities that stress the heel (long-distance running, ballet)

Occupations that require prolonged standing on hard surfaces (i.e., teachers, nurses, factory workers) also have an increased risk of developing the condition.

Treating plantar fasciitis

While there is no “quick fix” for plantar fasciitis, our Metroplex Foot & Ankle, LLP, team can help speed healing with a personalized treatment strategy that may include:

Changes in footwear

One of the first adjustments you'll likely make when living with plantar fasciitis is reevaluating your footwear. Shoes with proper arch support and cushioning are crucial. We can help you identify well-fitting, supportive footwear that matches your style and activity level.

Stretching and exercise

While rest is crucial for recovery, incorporating gentle stretching and targeted exercises into your daily routine helps alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms and prevent further complications. 

Stretching the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and the plantar fascia can increase flexibility and reduce pain. We’ll demonstrate these exercises during your office visit and give you a home routine to follow.

Ice and heat therapy

Managing inflammation is a crucial aspect of living with plantar fasciitis. Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and ease pain. Alternate this with heat therapy, using warm compresses or soaking your feet in warm water to promote blood flow and relaxation.

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotic inserts can provide additional support and help distribute pressure evenly across the foot. To reduce morning pain and stiffness, we may also recommend night splints to keep your foot in a dorsiflexed position overnight.

Adjusting your habits

Living with plantar fasciitis requires a mindful approach to daily activities. Simple adjustments, such as avoiding prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces, can make a significant difference. Consider elevating your feet when possible, and try to maintain a healthy weight to minimize stress on the feet.

For comprehensive help with plantar fasciitis, schedule an evaluation at Metroplex Foot & Ankle, LLP, by calling your nearest office in Dallas, Garland, or Richardson, Texas, today, or requesting an appointment online anytime.