Lauren Reed, DPM
Foot and Ankle Specialist & Foot Surgeon located in Spring, Houston, & Humble, TX
If you’re experiencing heel pain that’s worse when you first get out of bed, or flares up right after you stop an activity that involves being on your feet, it might be plantar fasciitis. At her offices in Houston, Tomball, and Cleveland, Texas, Lauren Reed, DPM, treats this inflammation of the tissue connecting your heel to your toes. To get treatment for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Plantar Fasciitis Q & A
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that causes a pain in the soles of your feet, affecting the plantar fascia, which is the “shock absorber” that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis develops over time and usually affects just one foot, but can affect both feet.
Your plantar fascia support the arches of your feet, so they’re responsible for bearing your weight. Depending on your lifestyle and other health factors, you may end up putting excessive stress on your feet, tearing and inflaming the ligaments.
Plantar fasciitis is likely to affect people who:
- Are long-distance runners and don’t alternate running with other forms of exercise
- Are overweight or obese
- Have to stand for hours on end at work
When the condition first develops, the pain is usually most apparent when you take your first steps out of bed in the morning or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while, and then gets better when you’ve moved around some. When plantar fasciitis progresses, the pain grows in intensity and lingers for longer. The pain can be sharp, dull, aching, or burning.
How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
Dr. Reed diagnoses plantar fasciitis by performing a full foot exam to rule out other conditions that may be causing your heel pain. She asks about your symptoms, including the type of pain and when it flares up.
She also locates the site of your pain and presses on the area to see how it affects the pain, while checking for signs of redness and swelling. Dr. Reed may have you perform stretches to assess the strength and flexibility of the tissue as well.
Usually, Dr. Reed diagnoses plantar fasciitis without imaging tests, but if the exam suggests a possibility that you actually have a stress fracture or other condition, she may order an MRI or X-ray.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Plantar fasciitis usually responds to conservative, noninvasive treatment that focuses on reducing the inflammation in your plantar fascia and allowing the condition to heal by avoiding further stress. With this approach, the pain can go away in as little as two to three weeks, though it could last for as long as six weeks, and you may need to take precautions for longer.
Your plantar fasciitis treatment plan may include:
- Icing your heel to reduce inflammation
- Performing stretches to improve your heel’s strength and flexibility
- Stabilizing your foot with a night splint
- Pain medications such as anti-inflammatories and steroid injections
- Changing the way you exercise so you put less pressure on your feet, alternating running with activities like swimming and cycling
- Shoe inserts for added arch support
- Losing weight, if necessary, to reduce stress on your feet
Dr. Reed also advises you on how to avoid developing plantar fasciitis again. To get relief from plantar fasciitis and stop it from returning, call your nearest office of Lauren Reed, DPM, to book an appointment, or use the online scheduling feature.