If you’re a distance runner, there’s a good chance you or someone you know has had plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the heel. Plantar fasciitis can derail your exercise routine, but board-certified Darin A. Bocian, DPM, can help you manage and prevent it without compromising your active lifestyle. To get up and moving again, schedule an appointment at Dr. Bocian’s Tucson, Arizona, practice online or over the phone.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, especially among long-distance runners. It’s an inflammation of your plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes. You usually have it in one foot, though it sometimes affects both.
Your plantar fascia are shock absorbers and support the arches of your feet. They can endure a lot, but if you put too much stress on them, they can develop tears and become inflamed, leading to plantar fasciitis. Note that there’s no exact limit for what’s “too much” pressure — it depends on what you’re used to.
In addition to runners, people who work on their feet for hours on end, including factory workers, nurses, teachers, and restaurant staff, are at risk. The condition is also more likely to affect people who are overweight or obese, as this places extra stress on the heels.
Dr. Bocian examines your foot to locate your pain and look for areas of tenderness. The location of your pain helps determine if you have plantar fasciitis and not another foot condition.
He also asks questions about the type of pain you have and when you experience it. Plantar fasciitis tends to cause a shooting pain in your heel, though you may also experience a dull ache or burning sensation.
The pain is usually at its worst when you first get out of bed and then gets better as you move. You may feel pain right after a run or other physical activity, but not during it.
Usually, Dr. Bocian can diagnose plantar fasciitis without an imaging test. He may order an MRI or X-ray if he suspects another cause of your heel pain, such as a stress fracture.
Plantar fasciitis usually responds to a conservative approach that includes managing the pain and taking stress off your foot.
To relieve the pain, Dr. Bocian may recommend:
Dr. Bocian advises you on when you can return to physical activity, and how to do so without worsening your plantar fasciitis. You may need to mix running with activities that put less stress on your feet, like cycling or swimming. This approach can help you prevent plantar fasciitis from recurring.
Don’t get sidelined by plantar fasciitis. Schedule an appointment at the practice of Darin A. Bocian, DPM, online or over the phone.