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How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis?

The foot is made up of multiple bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that work in tandem to provide support, movement, and balance. One important piece of tissue across the base of the foot is the plantar fascia. This tissue runs from the heel bone to the toe bones and is critical for maintaining the foot’s natural arch and allowing movement of the foot when walking. This article will talk about plantar fasciitis, symptoms, risk factors, how it’s diagnosed and treatment options. Best Foot Doctor NY has convenient locations in the NYC area.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis refers to an inflammation of the plantar fascia.

How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is relatively easy to diagnose. 

Symptoms

Consider asking your NYC podiatrist about it if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • pain in the heel or across the base of the foot
  • pain that is worse in the morning or after a period of rest, but gets better as you move around
  • pain after activity
  • swelling in the heel
  • reduced sensation or tingling in the sole of the foot

Risk Factors

The following are some common risk factors for developing Plantar fasciitis:

  • participating in sports that involve running, jumping, or long periods of walking on a hard surface
  • excessively high or low arches
  • wearing shoes with poor arch support
  • being overweight
  • careers that require long periods of standing

How is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed? 

Podiatrists such as those at Best Foot Doctor NY diagnose plantar fasciitis by first listening to your symptoms, performing a physical exam, and ruling out any other causes of heel pain. If needed, x-rays, MRIs and other imaging studies can help narrow down the diagnosis. 

What Treatment Options are Available?

Conservative Treatments

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly treated with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Icing your foot can also help reduce the inflammation.

Stretching gently before and after any exercise can also help to strengthen the plantar fascia. 

Talk to your podiatrist about getting custom orthotics or night splints to help support your foot. 

Activity Modification

During a flare-up, it will be helpful to rest your foot as much as possible to avoid further injury. Wear shoes that support and cushion the sole of your foot. If possible, avoid standing and walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time. 

Do not participate in strenuous exercises while your plantar fascia is healing. Consider swimming or biking rather than running and weight lifting during this time. 

Medical Treatment

If your pain continues or gets worse, you may be experiencing chronic plantar fasciitis, including small tears in the tissue that will require more extensive treatment. These treatment options include shock wave therapy and steroid injections to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. 

On rare occasions, patients need surgery to fully treat the cause of their pain. Most people suffering from this condition find relief from allowing the foot to rest, taking OTC medications, and stretching adequately. 

How Can I Learn More? 

If you think you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis and would like more information, contact Best Foot Doctor NY today. With locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, we have podiatrists ready to help you achieve the support you need.

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