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What Is Plantar Fasciitis? Houston Sports Med Doc Answers

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain, occurring primarily in the heel. This heel pain is especially common in runners. As a runner and athlete myself, I empathize with patients who suffer from this condition. The good news is that there are several conservative treatment options available, and many patients recover in a few months, after which they’re able to get back to running.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

This condition is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick fibrous band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the toes and the heel bone. Runners who are increasing their mileage or running in worn-out shoes are most likely to develop this condition. Being severely overweight can also increase your risk for developing plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot near the heel. Pain is usually worst right when you get out of bed, but may also flare up if you stand for a long period or get up after sitting for a long period. 

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

At our downtown Houston sports medicine practice, diagnosis may begin with an examination of the foot. We may check for tender points in order to locate the source of pain. Imaging tests are not normally necessary, unless the provider has a reason to believe the heel pain is caused by another issue (such as a stress fracture). 

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Basic over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce pain and inflammation. Additionally, your Houston sports med provider may refer you to a physical therapist to exercise and stretch the plantar fascia. Some patients may wear a splint at night that stretches the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. You may also be prescribed an orthotic device to help with walking. If these conservative methods don’t work, more advanced therapies may be available at your Houston sports medicine practice. 

Heel Pain? See a Houston Sports Med Provider

Do your symptoms sound like plantar fasciitis? Concerned that it could be something else? As a runner, I understand that you want to get back to your routine as quickly as possible. Getting better starts with an evaluation and diagnosis. Schedule an appointment at our Houston sports medicine practice online or by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.