Plantar Fasciitis Treatment for Active Individuals in the DeKalb, IL, Area
Plantar fasciitis treatment is designed to relieve heel pain caused by a strained plantar fascia (the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes). The foot and ankle specialist at Midwest Orthopaedic Institute near DeKalb, IL, sometimes recommends surgery for treating very severe pain. However, we generally find that conservative therapies like resting, stretching, and wearing well-fitting shoes with good arch support are sufficient for most patients.
Prior to starting any type of plantar fasciitis treatment, though, it is important for a patient to see a physician who can provide an accurate diagnosis. That’s because other conditions, such as arthritis and tarsal tunnel syndrome, can produce similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches. Individuals in the DeKalb, Illinois, area who are experiencing possible signs of plantar fasciitis (the hallmarks are heel pain and stiffness that improves with physical activity) are welcome to consult with the foot and ankle expert at MOI.
Because the plantar fascia is subject to a significant amount of wear and tear through daily activities like standing and walking, this hard-working ligament is naturally susceptible to strain. Additionally, much like the other ligaments in the body, the plantar fascia will gradually lose its suppleness and elasticity as part of the natural aging process, which can ultimately make it more prone to inflammation.
Certain factors can further stress the ligament and necessitate plantar fasciitis treatment. For instance, an individual may have an increased likelihood of plantar fascia strain if he or she:
- Has naturally high foot arches
- Has weak foot muscles
- Has tight calf muscles
- Engages in high-impact sports and other activities, such as running
- Regularly wears ill-fitting or unsupportive footwear
- Is overweight or obese
After confirming a diagnosis, the foot and ankle specialist at MOI will likely recommend that the patient begin with a nonsurgical treatment plan. Regular stretching of the plantar fascia can be useful for both preventing and treating the condition, and this can be easily and effectively accomplished by wearing splints during sleep. Most patients also benefit from wearing supportive shoes that have good cushioning and thick soles, which can help alleviate pressure on the foot. If necessary, customized orthotics can be designed to reduce excess pronation, and soft silicone heel pads can provide additional comfort. Typically, surgery will be considered only if the discomfort continues or worsens despite conservative plantar fasciitis treatment.
To speak with an orthopaedic expert about plantar fasciitis treatment, contact Midwest Orthopaedic Institute to schedule an appointment at our office near DeKalb, IL.