Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition caused by inflammation in the plantar fascia, which is the strong, fibrous band that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot and your toes. Plantar fasciitis affects 2 million Americans annually and is the most common source of heel pain.
Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM of the Apple Podiatry Group, frequently treat patients with plantar fasciitis at their offices in Arlington, Fort Worth, and Flower Mound, TX.
In this blog post, they explain why plantar fasciitis is more common during summer and provide preventive tips and treatment options.
Wearing open-toed shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops, is a hallmark of summer fashion. Unfortunately, this footwear often lacks adequate support for your feet. The lack of arch support and cushioning stresses the plantar fascia excessively. Over time, this can cause inflammation and pain.
Summer activities such as hiking, running, and walking on various surfaces without proper preparation or stretching can also strain the plantar fascia and contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
Changes in walking surfaces
Summer brings about changes in walking surfaces. Walking on uneven terrain, such as sandy beaches or hiking trails, can strain the plantar fascia and increase the likelihood of injury. Additionally, spending prolonged periods walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete, can exacerbate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Treating plantar fasciitis
There are several treatment options for alleviating your plantar fasciitis pain. Here are those recommended by the Apple Podiatry Group team:
- Daily stretching: Regular stretching of the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce strain on the affected area. Incorporate stretching exercises into your daily routine.
- Icing: Icing the affected foot can help reduce inflammation and temporarily relieve pain. Try rolling a frozen bottle of water under your foot.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Compression sleeves: Compression sleeves are designed to gently support and compress the foot's structure, providing pain relief and stability.
- Night splints: Night splints keep the foot gently flexed while you sleep. This helps foot ligaments stay long, limber, and less prone to morning pain.
If these home-care remedies are ineffective, book an appointment with the specialists at Apple Podiatry. They may prescribe one or more of the following treatments:
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
- Custom orthotic inserts
- Physical therapy
- Surgery in rare cases
- Corticosteroids injections
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, book an appointment at Apple Podiatry Group. Call us or request an appointment online today.