Some of us spend a great deal of time searching the internet to find out how to treat our condition or that of a loved one. Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that's frequently searched on health sites such as mayoclinic.com and webmd.com. While the information on these sites is mostly accurate, it's limited; it can't tell you exactly what your treatment will be.
Age, severity, foot type, body type, and activity type can all affect how plantar fasciitis is treated. The goals of the person can also impact how heel pain is treated. A runner that can't miss out on an upcoming race may need to receive a shot of steroids to bring down the inflammation and a walking boot, but someone who can take the time to heal would not likely require either of these treatments unless their pain is intolerable.
As we get older we often become less flexible and less able to withstanding the pounding that comes with activities such as running. Other problems such as osteoarthritis can also exist at the same time as heel pain, sometimes making heel pain harder to resolve. It can take more work to get orthotics to feel comfortable in older patients.
The level of pain a person with heel pain experiences can be mild to severe. Patients with less severe plantar fasciitis may only need an over-the-counter insert such as Powerstep or Superfeet. Patients in a severe state of pain will need to bring down their level of inflammation through one or more of the following methods:
- anti-inflammatory medications
- steroid shot
- walking boot
Do you have flat feet, over pronation, or high arches? These foot types will increase the likelihood that you'll develop plantar fasciitis. To stabilize foot types like these almost always means use of orthotics designed to balance foot mechanics.
Some people are born with tighter calf muscles. Those with tighter calf muscles are at higher risk for developing heel pain. One of the biggest components for healing plantar fasciitis and also preventing it is stretching the calf muscles.
We see patients of all ages and activity levels who develop plantar fasciitis. Whatever the activity, you need shoes that are supportive and will only bend at the toes, not the middle of the shoe and are hard to twist when grabbing the toe in one hand and the heel in the other. Shoe companies make shoes for different types of activities. Matching the shoe to your activity is also important in preventing foot problems. If you're a runner, check out "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes".
Don't let an internet resource be your main guide in treating a painful foot problem. Even ours! Although self-care can be helpful, call a Seattle podiatrist to ensure that you receive the right treatment for your heel pain and other conditions.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.
Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.