When heel pain hits, do any of these situations sound familiar?
- You feel pain (typically described as “sharp” or “shooting”) as soon as your feet hit the floor after a good night’s sleep, and it takes a minute or two of moving around for it to subside.
- Similar pain occurs after you have spent a long time sitting or staying relatively still.
- You feel heel pain more after exercise or activities.
If so, then the problem may be a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The odds are likely, in fact: it’s one of the most common causes of heel pain!
Whether the source of your heel pain is plantar fasciitis or another condition, do not wait on getting the help you need. We are more than happy to help you find relief, as we have for many other patients.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of your toes.
This fascia has no simple job. It stretches when you stand and builds up kinetic energy to propel you into your next step when you walk or run. Additionally, your plantar fascia supports your foot arch, creating stability and aiding in proper foot function throughout your entire gait cycle.
Your plantar fascia must stretch and support at the same time. As a result, sometimes the fascia tissue can be overstrained and sustain microscopic tears, resulting in irritation, inflammation, and degeneration (plantar fasciitis).
Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Non-Surgical Methods
Treatment for plantar fasciitis can be either conservative (most common) or surgical (uncommon). The course we recommend will depend on a number of different factors.
As part of a full examination, we will typically use ultrasound to get a better idea as to the extent of damage to the plantar fascia. Based on this information, we can then predict how likely you are to respond to conservative vs. surgical treatment plans.
When nonsurgical care is recommended, the particular course of treatment we suggest will largely depend on the extent of your plantar fasciitis, age, medical history, and other factors. We may recommend one or more of the following:
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
- LASER Therapy
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- OTC pain/anti-inflammatory medications
- Tape immobilization
- Night splints
Typically, patients respond well to non-surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis symptoms. However, the key for success when using these methods is to seek professional care as soon as you notice something is wrong.
In the event that your condition has become more severe, we may recommend other in-office approaches.
Cortisone Injections (and Other Injection Therapies) for Plantar Fasciitis
Whereas cortisone shots are nonsurgical in nature, any type of injection is invasive and has varying degrees of success.
A single cortisone shot can often be beneficial for pain, and also serve as a diagnostic aide. When an injection relieves symptoms, it’s more likely that the problem actually is plantar fasciitis.
In addition to cortisone shots, other possible injection therapies include:
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma)
- BMAC (bone marrow aspirate concentrate)
- Amniotic/placental stem cell allografts
- Naturopathic/homeopathic preparations (usually containing Arnica)
- Alcohol injections
Patients are typically able to walk right out the door once an injection has been administered, so you can still get the benefits of fast and easy recovery if any of these types of treatment are recommended.
When is Surgery Needed?
Very rarely do we use surgery as a way to treat plantar fasciitis. More often than not, conservative approaches are more than enough to find the relief you need and correct the problem.
We will exhaust or rule out all other treatment options available before considering surgery. If surgery does become a consideration, we will provide you with all the information you need to make a confident decision about how to move forward.
Our treatment of choice at Massapequa Podiatry Associates is Ultrasound-Guided Percutaneous Partial Plantar Fasciectomy (USGPPF).
In this procedure, small amounts of degenerated tissue are removed from the plantar fascia through a tiny incision on the inside of the heel.
After adequate removal of bad tissue, platelet-rich plasma or amniotic stem cells are injected back into the area to aid in natural healing. Recovery is very quick, with little restriction placed on normal activities. The plantar fascia is preserved at its natural length, and the mechanical function of the foot is not altered.
Find Relief from Your Heel Pain at Massapequa Podiatry Associates Today!
Don’t let heel pain get in the way of living your best life! Instead, let Dr. Fox, Dr. LoBello and our team help you overcome painful symptoms and find the relief you deserve.
For more information—or to request an appointment—simply give us a call at (516) 541-9000. You can also take advantage of our request form online to have one of our staff members reach out to you