If you experience stabbing heel pain when you take your first few steps of the day, you may be feeling the hallmark effects of plantar fasciitis, a common overuse injury that causes acute inflammation through the sole of your foot. At Nina Coletta, DPM, PA, in Plantation, Florida, Dr. Coletta provides comprehensive care for patients in Broward County with plantar fasciitis, including physical therapy and custom orthotics. Call the office directly or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.
Plantar Fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that starts at your heel and stretches across the sole of your foot, sustains repeated microscopic tears that result in collagen degeneration and acute inflammation.
Similar to a strong rubber band, your plantar fascia provides flexible, shock-absorbing support to the arch of your foot. The tiny surface tears caused by either everyday wear and tear or extended bouts of excess stress and tension can irritate and weaken your fascia, leading to significant heel pain.
Risk factors for Plantar Fasciitis include:
You’re more prone to plantar fasciitis if you have tight calf muscles that limit ankle flexion or an inefficient walking pattern that places added stress on the soles of your feet.
At first, Plantar Fasciitis injuries cause mild to moderate heel pain that goes away with movement. Many patients initially report having their worst symptoms during their first few steps of the day or after an extended period of sitting. As the condition worsens, exercise and standing for long periods of time may also trigger plantar fasciitis pain.
Dr. Coletta can often diagnose plantar fasciitis by performing a comprehensive foot exam. This test includes checking for areas of tenderness, testing your reflexes, balance, coordination, and muscle strength, as well as observing the way you stand and walk.
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, Dr. Coletta may also use diagnostic imaging such as an X-ray or MRI to make sure your heel pain isn’t affected by a bone fracture, pinched nerve, or something else.
It’s crucial to treat plantar fasciitis before it becomes a chronic condition that affects the way you walk or makes you less active. Fortunately, when Dr. Coletta diagnoses plantar fasciitis soon after the onset of symptoms, it generally responds well to conservative, non-surgical measures such as:
Once Dr. Coletta helps you get your inflammation under control, targeted physical therapy stretches can keep your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon flexible, while exercises that strengthen your lower leg muscles can help stabilize your ankle and heel.
If you’re ready to put an end to heel pain, call Dr. Coletta’s office or schedule an appointment using online booking today.