When’s the last time you thought about your plantar fascia? If you have heel pain, you’re thinking about it every moment of every day.
The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the front part of your foot – the ball – to the heel and supports your arch. When something happens to inflame the plantar fascia, you have plantar fasciitis – one of the medical terms for heel pain or arch pain. Lots of things can stress out the plantar fascia, including wearing the wrong shoes, running on hard surfaces, having flat feet, and being overweight.
First lines of defense
Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland understand the pain of plantar fasciitis and have many tools to help you get rid of it. The first steps that we recommend for getting rid of the pain:
- Aggressive, daily calf stretching
- Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Heel cushions that you can purchase over-the-counter
If these treatments don’t provide relief, we may recommend some or all of the following treatments:
- Wearing a supportive boot
- Wearing a night brace that prevents constriction of the plantar fascia while you sleep
- Corticosteroid injections
- Shoe inserts (orthotics) to correct mechanical issues such as overpronation
- Supporting the arch with orthopedic tape
Surgery is a last resort
Using some or all of the treatments above, the majority of people will recover from plantar fasciitis in a matter of a few months. Only about 10% of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis will get to the point where they need to consider surgery in order to permanently release the constricted plantar fascia and/or remove the heel spurs that are contributing to the problem. Patients who don’t find relief with conservative therapies should carefully discuss the pros and cons of surgery with our podiatrists.
Surgery for plantar fasciitis won’t correct the source of the problem, so even after surgery, we advise our patients to wear good shoes, lose weight, and wear orthotics if we’ve prescribed them.
For more information about plantar fasciitis treatments, look no further than the podiatry experts of Cuyahoga County. You can reach our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041, or you can make an appointment online.