Torrance Foot & Ankle Specialist
The plantar fascia is a fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom
of your foot, connects the heel to the base of the toes, and supports
the arch of the foot. Because there is a tremendous load on the fascia
every time the foot hits the ground when running, walking, jumping, skipping,
etc., the plantar fascia can become strained from overuse. This can cause
swelling, inflammation, fraying of the plantar fascia, and pain.
Plantar fasciitis often begins gradually with mild heel pain, and will
typically be felt after exercise or physical activity and after sleeping
or sitting for an extended period of time. When left untreated, it can
become a chronic condition that causes severe pain and limits activity.
It may also lead to the development of other problems affecting the foot,
knee, hip, and back, as the condition changes the way a person walks.
In many cases, plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs. Heel spurs
are extra bone deposited at the site where the fascia attaches to the
heel bone, this is a very common body response to stress. However, it
is usually the tearing of the plantar fascia that causes pain, not the
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
While it can take months to reduce pain and symptoms with plantar fasciitis,
surgery is rarely required. Treatment will typically begin with the least
invasive treatment modalities:
- Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce
pain and inflammation
- Exercise / physical therapy – Home exercises, stretching, and physical
therapy can improve function by stretching and strengthening the lower
- Arch support – Shoes with arch support and arch support inserts can
increase shock absorption and support, influence foot position, and reduce pain.
- Night splints – One of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis is sharp
pain in the heel when getting out of bed in the morning. When feet are
pointed while sleeping or sitting for long periods of time, the plantar
fascia is shortened. Those first steps in the morning or rising from a
chair are painful because the fascia is then stretched and torn as the
foot is loaded with your body weight. Night splints are designed to provide
a gentle stretch to the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. This gentle
stretch helps reduce the muscle contracture, inflammation, and associated
heel pain, and helps promote healing of plantar fasciitis.
- Corticosteroids – An injection with a steroid/cortisone to the area
may also help reduce pain and inflammation and allow the plantar fascia
to heal. However, not all patients get full relief from this and the injection
can be quite painful.
In a few cases where patients obtain no relief from plantar fasciitis after
months of nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be required.
Request an Appointment
If you would like an evaluation for plantar fasciitis with a foot and ankle
specialist from Torrance Memorial Physician Network, call to request an
appointment. We serve the South Bay from three convenient locations.