Pain in your heel area may be a sign of plantar fasciitis, a disease characterized by inflammation around a ligament in your foot. Plantar fasciitis affects millions of people and is one of the most common foot conditions treated by Dr. Peter Iannuzzi of Foot & Ankle Specialists in North Bergen, NJ.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from your heel to the arch of your foot. Chronic pressure irritates the ligament and causes inflammation. You may also develop tears in the ligament. Over time, the ligament loses flexibility, and you may have pain when you perform certain activities.
What are the Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis?
People who have flat feet or high arches are at greater risk for plantar fasciitis. Obesity, age, standing for long periods, and high-intensity exercise are other contributing factors
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Pain in the heel area is the most common symptom of damage to the plantar fascia. The discomfort may develop after activity or exercise. Some people notice heel pain when they first start to walk after sitting or lying down.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?
Dr. Iannuzzi performs a physical examination and diagnostic tests to identify cases of plantar fasciitis in his patients. X-rays typically provide enough information for him to rule out other possible reasons for your heel pain, such as arthritis and heel spurs.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
In most cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated without surgery. Stretches, rest, and changes to activity levels help most people. Dr. Iannuzzi also uses stem cell treatments to repair tears in the ligament. Custom orthotics reduce pressure on the plantar fascia to promote healing. If your symptoms do not improve within 10 to 12 months, Dr. Iannuzzi may recommend surgery. The procedure is performed in our office and works by releasing tension on the damaged ligament.
Can You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
If you have flat feet or a high arch, orthotics may protect the plantar fascia. Foot and calf stretches are also helpful for those who are at risk for the condition. If you work in an occupation that requires standing for long periods, take a 1-minute break every few hours to stretch and massage your feet.
Do You Have Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
You no longer need to suffer from the debilitating symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Call Foot & Ankles Specialists in North Bergen, NJ, today at (201) 861-0022 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Iannuzzi.