If you’re met by searing pain in your feet when you take your first steps in the morning, plantar fasciitis is the likely cause. At Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, foot specialists Joseph R. Disabato, DPM, and Ryan M. Pivovar, DPM, have the tools to help their patients in Charlottesville and Culpeper, Virginia, greet the day with a spring in their step. To learn more about plantar fasciitis, call or fill out the online form to request an appointment.
Heel Pain Q & A
What is plantar fasciitis?
At the bottoms of both your feet are bands of tissue called the plantar fascia, which stretch tautly from the base of your toes to your heels. This tough band of tissue provides key support for the arches in your feet as they absorb shock and help your feet hold their optimal shape.
When your plantar fascia becomes irritated or inflamed, it can lead to a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by burning pain in your heels or along the bottoms of your feet after a long period of inactivity — sleep, for example. The pain typically subsides as the tissue stretches out after a few steps. The pain is often more severe after exercise and subsequent rest when your plantar fascia is tight from both use and inflammation.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
In many cases, plantar fasciitis develops over time and is considered a repetitive use injury. There are certain factors that put you more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, including:
- Engaging in concussive sports, such as running
- Carrying extra weight
- Age (your tissue weakens as you grow older)
- Structural issues, such as flat feet or high arches
- Spending long periods on your feet
Plantar fasciitis is generally a local problem, but in more moderate-to-severe cases, the condition can alter your gait, which can have a cascading effect on your entire musculoskeletal system, including your knees, hips, and back. The condition can also lead to chronic, and problematic, heel spurs.
What are the treatments for plantar fasciitis?
When you first sit down with one of the doctors at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, your doctor reviews your symptoms, your medical history, and your lifestyle habits to confirm plantar fasciitis.
To start, your doctor generally recommends noninvasive solutions, such as:
- Gentle stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications
The doctors at Virginia Foot & Ankle are also equipped with the latest laser technology, called MLS (multiwave locked system), which tackles inflammation and swelling in your soft tissue using specific wavelengths of light.
This innovative and FDA-cleared technology encourages quick healing and repair on a cellular level to get you back on your feet without pain. Using MLS, your doctor can greatly reduce your plantar fasciitis symptoms in just 6-10 quick treatments (20 minutes or less).