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Plantar Fasciitis

A stabbing sensation in your heels characterizes plantar fasciitis pain. The condition gets worse over time and eventually ruins the quality of your life. Fortunately, there are multiple conservative therapies available, and 90 percent of patients are pain-free within the first 10 months of plantar fasciitis treatment. Don’t allow your condition to get worse. Dr. Velimir Petkov and his team at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ, deliver plantar fasciitis relief. Call them today to make an appointment.

One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue connecting your heel and toes becomes inflamed. It’s a progressive, degenerative condition that not only hurts, but can also lead to falls and eventual disability.

Plantar fasciitis pain resembles a stabbing sensation. It’s usually the most acute during the first steps you take in the morning. The pain tends to subside once you become active, although it may return after extended periods of sitting or standing.

Roughly two million people seek professional plantar fasciitis treatment each year. If you’re suffering from this painful and possibly debilitating condition, you need an expert plantar fasciitis doctor like Velimir Petkov, DPM at Premier Podiatry in Passaic County, New Jersey.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

The plantar fascia stretches across the bottom of your foot to absorb shocks and support the arch. Unfortunately, too much stress and tension can cause tears in this otherwise durable tissue. While the cause isn’t entirely understood, researchers believe that the inflammation results from frequent and excessive tears. As a result, your heels become sore and tender from plantar fasciitis pain.

While the condition can affect anyone, certain risk factors make it more likely for some. These risk factors include:

  • Gender. Although plantar fasciitis affects both sexes, it strikes women more than 2.5 times as often.
  • Age. Advancing years also correlates strongly with plantar fasciitis pain. It’s most common in the 40-to-60-year-old age group.
  • Foot shape. Both high arches and flat feet increase stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Abnormal gait. Strange walking patterns result in more stress on your feet.
  • Obesity. Excess body weight places significant strain on the bottom of your feet.
  • Exercise. Certain activities — such as jogging, jumping or ballet dancing — can speed up the onset of plantar fasciitis.
  • Stiffness. Tight calf muscles decrease the flexibility of your feet.
  • Work. Long work hours, especially when you have to stand or walk on hard surfaces, put additional stress on your plantar fascia.


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Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis

During your first consultation at Premier Podiatry, your plantar fasciitis doctor begins with a thorough review of your medical history. Next, he performs a physical examination of your foot and probes it for tenderness. The location of your pain often indicates its cause.

If your doctor suspects you have plantar fasciitis, he may order imaging tests such digital x-rays, which also detect heel spurs, arthritis and fractures. While rare, you may need MRIs or an ultrasound image test if your initial plantar fasciitis treatment was unsuccessful.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

While there’s currently no plantar fasciitis cure, nine out of 10 people improve within the first 10 months of simple plantar fasciitis treatment as recommended by your NJ podiatrist, such as:

  • Ice. Roll your foot over a cold or frozen bottle for about 20 minutes three or four times a day.
  • Rest. Temporarily eliminate any sports or activities causing you pain. Avoid running on hard surfaces.
  • Medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, reduce the inflammation and alleviate plantar fasciitis pain.
  • Physical therapy. Both your calves and the bottoms of your feet require flexing and stretching at regular intervals. Stretch each several times a day for 10 seconds at a time. A professional physical therapist can design an exercise program specifically for your needs.
  • Night splints. Most people sleep with their feet flexed downwards. Your podiatrist may prescribe a splint to keep your Achilles tendon and foot stretched while sleeping. The nighttime stretching improves the flexibility of your plantar fascia.
  • Orthotics. Your doctor may prescribe generic or custom-fit, arch-supporting orthotics to distribute your weight more evenly.
  • Injections. Cortisone steroids have long been used to reduce swelling in the plantar fascia tissue and relieve pain. More recently, scientists have developed platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in conjunction with ultrasound technology to provide more symptom relief with less risk of damage to your tissue.
  • EPAT shockwave therapy. This non-invasive procedure uses low-energy shockwaves to stimulate your body’s natural healing process. Plantar fasciitis doctors use this technique after more conservative treatments haven’t worked, but before attempting surgery.
  • Surgery. The last resort for plantar fasciitis treatment, your podiatrist relies on surgery only after the other methods have failed to provide relief. The procedure involves cutting the plantar fascia ligament to relieve the tension and reduce the swelling. This is an outpatient, minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic pain and eventual disability. Altering your natural walk to ease your pain may cause problems with other parts of your body. Instead, seek help from a trained professional who knows how to cure plantar fasciitis or at least treat your symptoms. Contact Premier Podiatry today and make an appointment.

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is chronic inflammation of the band of connective tissues that stretch from your heel bone to your toes (the plantar fascia). While runners are most commonly affected by plantar fasciitis, you can also suffer from this pain-causing condition due to:

  • Being overweight
  • Having flat feet
  • Regularly playing jumping sports, like basketball
  • Standing on your feet all day for work

Even though plantar fasciitis can strike men and women of any age, it’s most likely to occur if you’re between the ages of 40-60.

Are there symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Yes, with stabbing heel pain being the primary complaint. What makes plantar fasciitis pain unique is that discomfort is usually worse when you take your first steps after waking up, or after getting up from a sitting position.

For some, plantar fasciitis is worsened by exercise. But you don’t usually feel pain during exercise. Rather, it kicks in shortly after physical activity.

Any pain and inflammation you experience with plantar fasciitis is only going to get worse over time if you ignore it. The sooner you start a plantar fasciitis treatment plan, the quicker you can start healing and feeling better.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

As a regenerative specialist who offers the latest in plantar fasciitis solutions, Dr. Petkov and his team at Premier Podiatry design custom treatment plans based on your specific symptoms and lifestyle. Your individualized plantar fasciitis treatment plan can include:

  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • K-Laser
  • Prescription orthotic inserts
  • Physical therapy
  • Personalized stretches
  • Night splints
  • Corticosteroid injections

Usually, finding the right combination of these therapies helps resolve plantar fasciitis pain within a few weeks. But if you try several types of plantar fasciitis treatments for months on end and don’t feel an improvement — or if your condition worsens — Dr. Petkov may talk with you about surgery.

Plantar fasciitis surgery, which is almost always an absolute last resort, involves releasing your plantar fascia to minimize tension. This procedure has a very high success rate for permanently resolving plantar fasciitis pain.

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