Plantar Fasciitis in Miami, FL

The Advanced Neuro and Spine Institute specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of orthopedic conditions and diseases such as plantar fasciitis. Our team of experts delivers the latest advances in personalized, comprehensive care to patients in our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue, supporting the arch of your foot, becomes irritated and inflamed, resulting in pain at the bottom of the heel. A relatively common ailment, approximately two million patients receive treatment for plantar fasciitis every year.

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament lying directly beneath the skin, on the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the front of the foot, while supporting the foot’s arch. This ligament functions as a “shock absorber” for the feet, cushioning the stress and strain of everyday activity. In some cases, excessive pressure damages or tears the plantar fascia, and the body’s natural response to this injury is inflammation and pain. Typically, plantar fasciitis develops without a specific cause or injury; however, many factors increase the risk of developing this condition, including:

  • Extremely tight or short calf muscles, making it difficult to flex the foot.
  • Obesity or sudden, excessive weight gain.
  • An extremely high arch.
  • Repetitive impact from activities, such as running or dancing.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically include pain in or near the heel of the foot, and especially the pain that occurs with the first few steps after getting out of bed, or after an extended period of rest, such as a long car trip. Sometimes the pain may subside just after a few minutes of walking. With plantar fasciitis, patients experience greater pain after exercise or activity, than while actually performing the irritating activity.

How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

The initial healing regimen suggests a decrease or elimination of the activities that aggravate the pain, such as pounding your feet on hard surfaces. It may be advisable to change such activities as running for something more moderate, or gentle, as swimming or bicycling. Fortunately, most patients with plantar fasciitis will experience relief after a few months of non-invasive treatment methods.

Medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation, in addition to gentle exercises. For example, rolling your foot over a cold or frozen water bottle for 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times daily, provides effective relief. Because tight calf muscles aggravate plantar fasciitis, gentle and consistent stretching of the calves and plantar fascia effectively relieves the pain, improving this condition over time.

Soft heel pads and orthotics can provide extra support. Wearing shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning may effectively reduce pain when standing and walking.

Assistive devices, such as night splints, may be recommended for those experiencing extreme discomfort from plantar fasciitis. These devices alter the position of the foot, so that it no longer points in a downward direction, thus easing the pressure on the plantar fascia. A night splint gently stretches the plantar fascia while you sleep and is a very effective therapy that may be discontinued after there is no pain.

Physical therapy, focused on gently and gradually stretching the calf muscles and plantar fascia, may be prescribed. In addition to exercises, such as those mentioned above, a physical therapy regimen may involve specialized ice treatments, massage, and medications to reduce inflammation around the plantar fascia.

If the condition has not improved after several months of non-invasive treatment, surgery may be recommended.

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If you would like more information on plantar fasciitis treatment, please contact one of our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.

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