Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, from your heel to your toes. Irritation or inflammation of this ligament is called plantar fasciitis.

This podiatric condition may occur with or without a heel spur, a bony growth on the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are common sources of heel pain.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis symptoms vary from person to person. Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain in the heel
  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Swelling on the heel

Pain may be most intense when you first get out of bed in the morning or any other time you stand up after an extended period of rest. You may notice a decrease in pain as the tissue warms up from activity.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when your strain the plantar fascia ligament beyond its limit. This strain may result from variations in foot structure, such as overly flat or high-arched feet. Other causes of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Exercises that place extra stress on your heel, such as distance running
  • Occupations that require standing or walking on hard surfaces for long hours

Dr. Kleis carefully considers the cause of your plantar fasciitis to create a personalized treatment plan to improve your condition.

How do you diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis?

As the first part of your diagnosis, Dr. Kleis performs a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history. He may take an X-ray to check for heel spurs or rule out other possible sources of heel pain such as rheumatoid arthritis.

After the initial exam, he discusses the best treatment options for your particular condition. Depending on your case, plantar fasciitis treatment may include:

  • Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low level laser therapy for plantar fasciitis.  These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.
  • Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication
  • Switching to shoes that fit properly
  • Physical therapy or stretching exercises
  • Taping the foot to reduce stress
  • Orthotic devices such as shoe inserts

Dr. Kleis examines every option and surgery is rarely needed but some cases of plantar fasciitis require advanced therapies. If your condition is severe or doesn’t respond to simple treatment, he may recommend shock wave therapy. This noninvasive treatment uses high energy acoustic waves to promote tissue healing.  Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low level laser therapy for plantar fasciitis.  These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.

To find relief from heel pain, call or book an appointment online today.

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