Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain Treatment in Annapolis, MD
Foot pain can be felt on top of the foot, in the ball of the foot, in the toes, along the arch of the foot as well as in the heel. One of the most common reasons for heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is when there is inflammation of the tissue that runs from the heel across the bottom of the foot. Pain is typically the worst in the morning, after long periods of standing, trying to stand after sitting for a while, and/or after completing exercise. There are a variety of causes for heel pain including a heel spur, which our office often will see in conjunction with plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Normally, plantar fascia ligaments act as shock absorbers by supporting the arch of the foot. By placing too much pressure on your foot, it’s possible to damage and tear these ligaments, causing inflammation, stiffness, and heel pain.
Patients who are overweight, obese, or pregnant tend to have a greater chance of developing plantar fasciitis. Long-distance runners or having an occupation that requires standing for long periods of time are also at greater risk. Additionally, foot mechanics can play a role in plantar fasciitis.
Being flat-footed or having a high-arch can put added stress on the ligaments. Typically, this condition is most common in active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70.
Other Common Causes & Symptoms of Foot Pain
Heel Spur is caused by strain to the tissues of the foot, especially the plantar fascia, resulting in calcium deposits. Sometimes the heel spur will cause pain where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone and sometimes it will not. Excessive stress to the feet, long periods of standing or running, obesity, and poor footwear can all cause heel spurs to form.
Metatarsalgia is another type of overuse injury but unlike a heel spur or plantar fasciitis, pain will be located in the ball of the foot and a person can also experience numbness and tingling. Inflammation of the metatarsals caused by repetitive stress like running, jumping, ill-fitting shoes or poor foot biomechanics, can all lead to metatarsalgia.
Morton’s Neuroma can present in a similar way to metatarsalgia. Extra tissue develops around a nerve in the foot and pain is typically felt in the ball of the foot. It can also cause toe numbness and a burning sensation in the foot. This condition is also due to repetitive stress like running or wearing high heels.
Foot Injury can be a result of an acute trauma or repetitive stress over time. First an evaluation is needed to determine what type of foot injury it is and often imaging is needed to confirm evaluation findings.
Peroneal & Achilles Tendonitis
Peroneal & Achilles Tendonitis is when either the peroneal or achilles tendon become inflamed. Both of these tendons are responsible for attaching muscles in the calf to the ankle/foot and both are typically caused by overuse. While Peroneal Tendonitis causes more pain on the outside of the ankle, Achilles Tendonitis usually causes more pain in the back of the calf and/or heel. Each of these conditions will usually feel worse in the morning or after long periods of sitting still and then will feel better with some mild activity. Catching these conditions early is very important especially with Achilles Tendonitis, because left untreated it can lead to a tear or rupture of the tendon.
Diabetic Neuropathy happens in patients who have Diabetes. Having high blood sugar (glucose) in the body can affect your nerves leading to Peripheral Neuropathy. Usually the legs and feet are affected first followed by the arms and hands. Classic signs consist of numbness, tingling, burning and/or pain.
Foot Gout is the most common location for Gout to first affect, specifically the big toe. Gout is a type of arthritis that attacks the joints and leads to severe pain, swelling, and redness in and around the joint that is affected. Gout is caused by Uric Acid build up in the body and one of the first steps in addressing Gout is making dietary changes.
FAQs About Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain
While resources will often say that it will, the argument can be made that only the pain has gone, however the problem still exists. We first focus on eliminating the pain and then correcting the issue that led to the plantar fasciitis in the first place.
The right types of movement can help plantar fasciitis. The most important thing is knowing what led to the plantar fasciitis in the first place i.e. unsupportive shoes, long hours of standing, long distance running, obesity etc. Then trying to correct or eliminate the source of the problem. With plantar fasciitis, completely immobilizing the foot/leg is not usually the right solution.
Most likely you would have experienced other symptoms of Diabetes prior to pain in the feet. Things like excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, fatigue, blurred vision etc. are classic signs of Diabetes. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms along with numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet, then it is possible that Diabetes needs to be ruled out.
This depends on the condition and while the rule of thumb is that cold is best when there is swelling or acute injury and heat is best for tight muscles or stiff joints. If either heat or ice increases the pain or other symptoms you should stop doing it immediately and seek professional help.
What Treatments are available for Plantar Fasciitis?
When treating your foot pain our providers will first obtain a detailed history and then perform a physical examination, checking for areas of tenderness in your foot. Sometimes advanced imaging is needed to rule a diagnosis in or out.
Once we determine the root cause of your pain, we can create a personalized treatment plan by implementing a variety of treatment modalities. We find that our multidisciplinary approach to a treatment plan gets results much quicker. Depending on your specific condition and diagnosis, treatment can include: everything from pain relieving injections, deep tissue laser, anodyne therapy, physical therapy exercises or manual therapy, medical equipment like a brace or custom orthotics, kinesio taping etc.