What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that occurs when the plantar fascia – the ligament that connects the heel to the toes – becomes irritated or inflamed. The resulting pain and stiffness can make walking difficult, although the symptoms sometimes improve after a few steps. Rest is important; if an inflamed plantar fascia is strained through continued activity, micro-tears can develop.
Unlike many other foot injuries, plantar fasciitis can often be diagnosed based on a physical examination alone – detailed imaging tests are usually unnecessary. However, an X-ray or MRI may be recommended if a physician suspects that another issue, such as a stress fracture, is contributing to the pain. While plantar fasciitis can affect individuals of all ages and activities levels, it frequently affects people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Teachers, nurses, servers, and industrial workers are especially prone to plantar fasciitis, as are long-distance runners, backpackers, dancers, and other athletes.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Rest and other conservative therapies can be very effective for relieving the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Some options include:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium
- Orthotic shoe inserts
- Physical therapy
- Overnight bracing
- Corticosteroid injections
Surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis is unnecessary in most cases. However, to address disabling pain that does not improve with nonsurgical therapies, a surgical procedure may be considered.
In Lafayette, Louisiana, Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., treats a variety of common and complex foot and ankle conditions, including plantar fasciitis. Individuals of all activity levels can turn to Dr. Vizzi for comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services. As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who maintains a conservative treatment philosophy, Dr. Vizzi believes in taking the least invasive treatment approach that will be effective.
For more information or to schedule an initial appointment, contact Dr. Vizzi’s office today.