House Call: Plantar Fasciitis – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

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Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar ligament which extends from the knuckle bones to the heel bone on the bottom of the foot, and is one of the most common orthopedic complaints related to the foot.   The condition occurs due to abnormal biomechanics in the foot which stress the ligament causing an inflammatory, painful response on the bottom of the heel and arch. 

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are progressive—initially starting with soreness or sharp pain when you first step out of bed in the morning and progresses into consistent pain that is not easily relieved with over the counter anti-inflammatories.  Often, the pain will come and go, yet each time it returns, the condition has worsened. 

It is best to seek treatment for plantar fasciitis sooner than later, as treatment outcomes are more successful if cared for early. Treatment for plantar fasciitis begins with reducing the inflammation through the use of either oral or injection steroids, or cortisone injections, followed by non-steroid medications and the use of night splints to help stretch the ligament. 

Once the inflammation is controlled, patients are fitted for orthotic inserts to wear in their shoes.  The orthotic insert helps to control the motion of the foot and correct the abnormal biomechanics causing the condition by taking the stress off the ligament.  If the orthotic insert doesn’t fully alleviate the symptoms, patients may need surgery or another form of treatment known as Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT). 

If experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is important to get your foot examined by a podiatrist. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of podiatrists and related healthcare providers dedicated to treating individuals with foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis, throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Todd Hyatt is a podiatrist at Triad Foot Center and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff.  Dr. Hyatt received his medical degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine.  His residency training was completed at the University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore and the Veterans Medical Center in Baltimore. At the Veterans Medical Center, Dr. Hyatt specialized in vascular disease and surgery as well as wound healing. Dr. Hyatt then completed a Podiatric Surgical residency in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He is Board Certified in Foot Surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.