Foot pain can be extremely debilitating, so it’s important to resolve it as soon as possible. If you’ve been struggling with unexplained heel pain for several weeks, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. In this case, it’s best to visit a Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC foot doctor who can diagnose you and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
Plantar Fasciitis: When Should You See a Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC Foot Doctor?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. This condition causes severe heel pain that can feel debilitating and prevent patients from walking normally. Although plantar fasciitis isn’t usually permanent, it can last for several months at a time. Sometimes, it requires medical intervention.
If you’ve had unexplained heel pain for several weeks, reach out to a foot specialist. They can examine your feet and let you know whether you have plantar fasciitis. Then, they will suggest appropriate treatment methods. Because heel pain can be related to several foot problems, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis before you start taking medication or seeking out holistic treatments.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is severe heel pain. Most patients experience a stabbing sensation at the bottom of the heel that is worse first thing in the morning and after sitting for a long time. People with plantar fasciitis often can’t stand for long periods of time because this makes their pain more pronounced. Exercise and stretching usually ease the symptoms.
Another telltale sign is an inability to lift the toes off the ground. This movement is difficult for patients with plantar fasciitis because the plantar fascia runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes. During the first consultation at the clinic, we might ask patients to perform certain movements to determine whether they suffer from this condition.
What Causes This Condition?
The plantar fascia absorbs shock and supports your foot’s arch when you walk, run, or jump. If you put too much stress on it, small tears can form. Although they usually heal on their own, they can sometimes cause irritation and inflammation. Plantar fasciitis can be triggered by certain activities, but the exact cause is often unknown.
Experts have identified several risk factors that make patients more likely to experience this condition. It commonly occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 60 who either have an occupation that keeps them on their feet or participate in high-impact sports like dance or long-distance running. Other risk factors include obesity and the shape of the feet. Patients with flat feet or atypical walking patterns frequently experience plantar fasciitis.
To prevent plantar fasciitis, stretch your calves regularly, especially before and after performing exercises that involve running or jumping. Exercising with tight calves is a common cause of plantar fascia problems. Additionally, avoid sudden increases in your exercise levels. If you’d like to become more active, start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout sessions.
That way, you give your body a chance to get used to the new levels of exercise, and you don’t overwhelm your tissues. You can also improve your chances of good foot health by wearing supportive shoes. If you have flat feet or an uneven gait, ask us to create custom-made orthotics for you. They help you to maintain good posture and take pressure off your tissues.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Plantar fasciitis almost always needs to be treated by a specialist. If you don’t address the issue early on, you might suffer from chronic foot pain for many months. This prevents you from taking part in your regular activities and causes you to change your stance and gait. In the long run, a suboptimal gait can lead to problems with your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.
When you arrive at the Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC clinic, we’ll examine your feet and ask you about your medical history. Depending on your situation, we might do some imaging tests to rule out other conditions like stress fractures or bone spurs. We almost always try to treat plantar fasciitis holistically. However, surgery might be necessary in extreme or chronic cases.
Most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis don’t need to have an operation. This condition resolves itself after a few months, as long as the patient temporarily pauses activities that contribute to the problem and wears good shoes. During the acute phase, the patient can take painkillers to relieve the symptoms.
In some cases, additional measures might be necessary. If your condition is caused by bad posture or gait, you might need to see a physical therapist. They can teach you exercises that improve your posture and relieve your symptoms. You might also require custom-made orthotics that distribute the pressure on your feet differently.
If you’re in a lot of pain or your symptoms don’t improve within a few weeks, you might need to use assistive devices. We sometimes recommend that people with plantar fasciitis wear night splints that hold the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia in place. This promotes stretching and therefore reduces stiffness.
During the day, patients can wear a walking boot that prevents them from placing pressure on their tissues. They might also require a cane or crutches for a brief period.
Minimally Invasive Solutions
Your foot doctor might recommend minimally invasive treatments if your symptoms don’t improve after a few days or if they keep coming back. Sometimes, sound wave therapy can stimulate and speed up the body’s natural healing process. Platelet-rich plasma injections can also be effective because they deliver healing agents to the fascia.
We might suggest steroid shots if you’re struggling to deal with the pain. However, getting multiple steroid injections isn’t usually recommended because this treatment can weaken the plantar fascia over time.
Patients don’t typically need surgery for plantar fasciitis. Operations are only necessary if all other treatments have failed, and the pain is severe. During a plantar fasciitis operation, the doctor makes a small incision and detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia, so patients don’t have to stay at the clinic overnight.
How to Optimize the Recovery Process
Follow all our guidelines during the recovery process. Don’t place too much weight on your feet during the acute phase, wear supportive shoes, and apply ice for 15 minutes three to four times per day. When playing sports, don’t wear old, worn-out shoes because they don’t cushion your feet enough. Instead, get high-quality footwear that’s suitable for the type of exercise you’re doing.
If you’re overweight or obese, we might recommend that you change your lifestyle to lose some weight. This is because you are placing a lot of pressure on the tissues in your feet, which makes it harder for them to recover.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Although it eventually goes away, it can take several months. If you’ve been in pain for more than a few days, reach out to a foot doctor and ask them to diagnose your condition. Contact us at Island Foot Clinics in Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC to schedule your initial appointment. We look forward to helping you find an appropriate treatment method.