What Causes Plantar Fasciitis and How We Treat It

Oct 01, 2022
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis and How We Treat It
Plantar fasciitis is notorious for causing stabbing foot pain that makes it hard to walk comfortably. Understanding what causes it 一and most importantly, how it’s treated 一 are essential in finding the relief you deserve.

The pain and annoyance of plantar fasciitis is often hard to miss: it causes pain from your very first step each morning. You may also experience pain when you walk after periods of rest. About 54% of people diagnosed with plantar fasciitis reported the pain was too severe to ignore and it interfered with their quality of life.

The good news is that you don’t have to ignore plantar fasciitis at all. We can treat it! If you have heel pain and suspect you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, Dr. Kenneth Meisler, DPM encourages you to visit us in our New York City office. Not only can we diagnose this condition, but we also offer a wide range of treatments, from conservative methods to surgical ones.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are many potential causes of plantar fasciitis, and learning which factors are contributing to your symptoms can help shape your treatment plan. Common causes of plantar fasciitis include:

Overuse

Repetitive motion 一 or anything that puts excess pressure on your plantar fascia 一 can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This includes jogging, running, and even walking. Runners, in particular, are more likely to develop heel pain (and other sports injuries) if they increase running mileage by more than 10% each week.

Standing on your feet for hours on end can also increase your risk of developing inflamed fascia. 

You can reduce your risk of developing an overuse injury by wearing supportive shoes, warming up, cooling down, stretching, and easing into any exercise routine.

Foot mechanics 

In addition to overuse, plantar fasciitis can develop due to the anatomy of your foot. If your foot rolls too far inward when you walk, it can flatten your foot, lengthen your arch, and put too much tension on your fascia. This is known as overpronation, and over time, it leads to inflammation.

Flat feet 一 often linked with overpronation 一 happen when you stand and your arches “fall.” Your feet become flat and your arches may touch the floor. This can stretch your plantar fascia, contribute to instability, and increase the risk of future injury. 

Exploring your plantar fasciitis treatments in New York City

We know that plantar fasciitis can take a toll on your quality of life, especially if it keeps you from your favorite activities. Our team excels at diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis, and we’re happy to offer a wide range of services, including both non-surgical and surgical.

Conservative treatments are often the first line of defense against plantar fasciitis and can include:

  • Cold therapy, such as ice packs or cold compresses (or even ice pack slippers)
  • Stretching exercises, including heel raises and calf stretches
  • Custom orthotics to address overpronation
  • Physical therapy
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication if directed to do so 
  • Activity modification, such as easing up on training while you heal

In some cases, conservative treatments aren’t enough to reduce plantar fascia inflammation. Here at Kenneth R. Meisler, DPM & Associates, we also offer extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT). This is a non-surgical, noninvasive therapy that uses shock waves to stimulate healing in your heel. As the shock waves penetrate your tissue, it increases blood circulation, bringing more healing nutrients and oxygen to your plantar fascia. In this way, ESWT helps reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and improve functionality. 

In rare cases, surgery may be the right path forward to relieve the tension of your plantar fascia. You may consider surgery if you’ve already tried conservative options without any improvement, if your symptoms are chronic, and your symptoms interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks. Our team utilizes the most advanced techniques to help you find the relief you need.

Questions about plantar fasciitis? To learn more about your treatment options here in the Upper East Side, schedule an appointment at Kenneth R. Meisler, DPM & Associates. Call or click to get started!

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