Understanding the Different Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Understanding the Different Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

The pain is unmistakable, and it can be excruciating. When you suffer with a foot condition called plantar fasciitis, the heel pain can make you wince when you take your first steps after waking up or resting for long periods of time. 

Keep in mind how complex the foot is, and how much it enables you to do, from walking to playing sports. Amazingly, your foot contains 33 joints, 28 bones, and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons

Your plantar fascia is a sturdy band of tissue that runs along the entire bottom of your foot, from your heel to your toes. When it gets stretched, torn, or inflamed, symptoms emerge that hinder your mobility and can put you out of commission, causing considerable pain in your heel area.

Fortunately, the experienced and patient-centered team of podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers is eager to learn about your history of heel pain, what your current symptoms are, and how much they’re affecting your quality of life. 

The foot and ankle experts are dedicated to finding effective solutions to bring you relief and then creating a customized treatment plan for the long-term.

How do I know if I have plantar fasciitis?

There are quite a few classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis, and some manifest at certain times:

What distinguishes plantar fasciitis is that you typically suffer “first step” pain, or exacerbated discomfort when you take your first steps after waking up, and more pain after exercising, rather than during activity or beforehand. Plantar fasciitis pain generally doesn’t go away with time either, instead lingering. 

You can be at higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis the older you get, if you live with obesity, or work in a job that requires you to stand for long periods. If you have particularly high arches or flat feet, you’re also more likely to be diagnosed with the condition. 

How can I get help for my plantar fasciitis pain?

The first “must” on your to-do list is to enlist the services of an excellent, board-certified podiatrist, and the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers team certainly foots the bill (pardon the pun)!

A professional podiatrist confidently assesses your symptoms, examines you, listens to your pain history, notes when your pain gets worse, and orders imaging tests, which reveal important information. We also study the wear patterns on your shoes, which can reveal a host of issues.

Part of the diagnostic process is learning what isn’t your foot’s problem, so that we can arrive at an accurate diagnosis. 

With this information in hand, we can develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Conservative treatments are generally the first route, and progress from there:

Electromagnetic shockwave therapy, or ESWT, is an innovative noninvasive treatment that directs energy at your area of pain via electromagnetic shockwaves. These shockwaves ease a variety of tendon problems and treatments, which are about 45 minutes long, relieve debilitating pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis. 

When you come to our office for an ESWT treatment, your doctor administers a local anesthetic prior to treatment, and the high-intensity shockwaves put an end to pain that can get so severe, you have trouble walking. We also offer information on how long to take it easy after your treatment, before you resume normal activities. 

ESWT is a very effective treatment option when others have failed. Our patients report that they feel relief right after treatment, though it takes about three months for you to feel its full effect. The most amazing thing patients learn after having ESWT is that there are no return visits to our office for additional sessions: ESWT’s results are permanent. 

Your doctor may think surgery is an appropriate option as well, and its goal is to loosen your tight ligaments by making very small cuts in your tissue. Sometimes it’s necessary to surgically remove bone spurs that irritate and put pressure on your plantar fascia.

Take your name off the list of the 2 million people treated for plantar fasciitis each year by seeking treatment with us at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers. Call the office most convenient to you and schedule an appointment, or request one online

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