Dr. C’s Journal: Plantar Fasciitis And Foot Pain

Our feet are subjected to such abuse that it is amazing we don’t have more problems with them. But problems there are, and I have been having some. I will be exploring the different types and causes of foot pain  beginning with this article on plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a triangular web of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that begins at the heel and fans out to attach to the toes. With repeated stress, it can become torn or inflamed and caused pain.

The pain of plantar fasciitis is usually centered around the heel, on the bottom of the foot. It is often absent first thing in the morning, produces a stabbing pain on first walking, and goes away with activity; you can “walk it off”. Plantar fasciitis is usually slow to heal and may take several months

The doctor will usually make the diagnosis by your story(history), and the localization of the pain. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs or necessary only if there’s a suspicion of a stress fracture.

Conservative treatment focuses upon stretching exercises and orthotics, but there are various types of injections, shockwave therapies, ultrasonic tissue repairs, and surgeries that some people need.

A particularly interesting treatment cited was the injection of platelet rich plasma from your own blood to promote healing. I recently read that this technique, in addition to a collagen scaffold  is currently used to treat rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee.

Of course, prevention is the ideal. Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Supportive shoes, with thick soles and good arch support will help. stretching exercises are also helpful as a preventative.

Please check with the Mayo Clinic article for more information.

—Dr. C.

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