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Plantar Fasciitis

About 1 in 10 people develops plantar fasciitis, a degenerative condition characterized by chronic heel pain. At Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic, board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Vinai Prakash, DPM, offers several types of treatment for plantar fasciitis, including custom orthotics and minimally invasive surgery. To make an appointment in Kenmore, Washington, call the office or book online today.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that causes your plantar fascia –– a tough band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes –– to become inflamed. As the inflammation gets worse, it causes a sharp, stabbing sensation in your heel, making it difficult to stand, walk, or exercise. 

There’s no cure for plantar fasciitis, but with intervention and treatment, it’s possible to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Intense heel pain
  • Pain in the arch of your foot
  • A swollen heel
  • A tight Achilles tendon
  • Increased pain after exercise

If you have plantar fasciitis, you might also notice that your pain is worse in the morning, right after you wake up.

Who is at risk for plantar fasciitis?

Anyone can experience plantar fasciitis, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Playing high-impact sports that involve running or jumping
  • Working a job that requires you to stand for long periods
  • Having high arches or flat feet

You’re also more likely to experience plantar fasciitis if you wear shoes that don’t adequately support your feet.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

To diagnose plantar fasciitis, Dr. Prakash reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including what the pain feels like, its severity on a scale of 1 to 10, and if certain activities make it worse.

Next, Dr. Prakash has you remove your shoes and socks and examines your foot and heel. He gently presses on your heel to find areas of swelling, warmth, or sensitivity. Dr. Prakash also has you do a series of toe exercises to determine if your plantar fascia is inflamed.

Suppose a physical exam doesn’t provide enough information. In that case, Dr. Prakash might also order X-rays to rule out an underlying condition like a fracture, a bone spur, or a dislocated joint.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Treatment of plantar fasciitis depends on various factors, including your age, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your daily routine. Usually, Dr. Prakash recommends conservative treatments, like stretching your calf muscles, icing your heels, and wearing comfortable shoes that support your feet. 

You might also benefit from losing weight, wearing custom orthotics, or massaging your heels several times a day.

If conservative treatments don’t work, Dr. Prakash might recommend corticosteroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), or surgical intervention. During surgery for plantar fasciitis, Dr. Prakash uses special tools to carefully release the plantar fascia from your heel.

To explore the treatment options for plantar fasciitis, make an appointment at Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling the office or booking online today.