Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic conditions relating to the foot. It is when the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed and irritated, making it difficult to walk. This is most often the result of repeated episodes of minor but recurring injury, such as with frequent running or long periods of standing. The pain can be located in the heel area of the foot or in the arch. It is often worse in the morning due to stiffness of the tissue, and also becomes worse after long periods of walking. The pain often decreases with rest.
Your podiatrist will exam your foot for swelling, redness and tenderness of the area. X-rays may be taken.
Initial treatment usually involves heel stretching exercises, night splints or shoe inserts. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be given. Treatment can span several months to two years before symptoms improve. Most patients will see an improvement within one year. Further treatment may include steroid injections into the sole of the foot, or in certain situations a surgical procedure that releases the plantar fascia.
Foot pain can continue, and progress into a severe condition that affects the ability to walk. Eventually, permanent damage to the plantar fascia or surrounding nerves may occur.
Extra-Corporeal Shockwave Surgery
New technology to treat Plantar Fasciitis is NOT available YET but watch this space.
What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal means “outside of the body”. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ECSWT) is a treatment method that applies acoustic energy to the heel tissue from outside the body. It is used to treat chronic heel pain. Numerous FDA approved studies have concluded that ECSWT treatments using the Orthospec show success rates exceeding 78%.
ECSWT is a Solution to Chronic Heel Pain:
- FDA approved.
- No complications.
- In-Office treatment.
- Short treatment time.
- Faster recovery time and earlier return to normal activity.
- Non-Invasive and less painful than surgery.
- Return to work same day.
- High success rate/ similar to surgery.
- Lower health care cost.
A heel spur is an extension of the heel bone that extends into the tissue directly in front of the heel. It is most often a result of chronic plantar fasciitis.
A heel spur can be seen on an X-ray as an extension of bone in front of the heel.
Treatment of a heel spur involves treatment of plantar fasciitis. It includes stretching exercises, possibly the use of a splint, or anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases a steroid injection is given directly in front of the heel.
The pain due to the plantar fasciitis that causes the heel spur can become progressively more severe, in some cases damaging the tissue.