woman holding heel and stretching bottom of foot | Experienced Annapolis Podiatrist

The pain and annoyance of plantar fasciitis are often hard to miss: it causes pain from your first step each morning. You may also experience pain when you walk after periods of rest. About 54% of people diagnosed with plantar fasciitis reported that the pain was too severe to ignore and interfered with their quality of life.

The good news is that you don’t have to ignore plantar fasciitis. We can treat it! If you have heel pain and suspect you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, our podiatrists encourage you to visit us at one of our Central Maryland offices. Not only can we diagnose this condition, but we also offer a wide range of treatments, from conservative methods to surgical ones.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

There are many potential causes of plantar fasciitis, and learning which factors contribute to your symptoms can help shape your treatment plan. Common causes of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Overuse. Repetitive motion or anything that puts excess pressure on your plantar fascia can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This includes jogging, running, and even walking. Runners, in particular, are more likely to develop heel pain (and other sports injuries) if they increase running mileage by more than 10% each week. Standing on your feet for hours can also increase your risk of inflamed fascia. You can reduce your risk of developing an overuse injury by wearing supportive shoes, warming up, cooling down, stretching, and easing into any exercise routine.
  • Foot mechanics. In addition to overuse, plantar fasciitis can develop due to the anatomy of your foot. If your foot rolls too far inward when you walk, it can flatten your foot, lengthen your arch, and put too much tension on your fascia. This is known as overpronation, and over time, it leads to inflammation. Flat feet, which are often linked with overpronation, happen when you stand and your arches “fall.” Your feet become flat, and your arches may touch the floor. This can stretch your plantar fascia, contribute to instability, and increase the risk of future injury. 

Exploring Plantar Fasciitis Treatments 

We know that plantar fasciitis can take a toll on your quality of life, especially if it keeps you from your favorite activities. Our team excels at diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis, and we’re happy to offer a wide range of services, including both non-surgical and surgical. Conservative treatments are often the first line of defense against plantar fasciitis and can include:

  • Cold therapy, such as ice packs or cold compresses (or even ice pack slippers)
  • Stretching exercises, including heel raises and calf stretches
  • Custom orthotics to address overpronation
  • Physical therapy
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication if directed to do so 
  • Activity modification, such as easing up on training while you heal

Rarely, these conservative treatments aren’t enough to reduce plantar fascia inflammation. In such cases, surgery may be the right path forward. If you’ve already tried conservative options without any improvement and your symptoms are chronic, our team may recommend surgery. We utilize the most advanced techniques to help you find your needed relief.

Eric Harmelin, DPM
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Experienced Amputation Prevention Specialist and Podiatrist in Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie, MD.