Heel pain or arch pain has many causes, but one of the most common is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of dense connective tissue that begins on the heel, fans out over the arch and connects to the ball of the foot.
The plantar fascia helps stabilize the foot and support the arch. The tissues stretch when you stand, walk or run. But problems occur when the tension placed on this structure exceeds its ability to stretch.
Most people feel plantar fasciitis pain first as a shooting or aching pain in the heel. It might come on suddenly or gradually worsen.
While plantar fasciitis usually diminishes with time and home treatment, you might need advice and support from experts in foot and heel pain. Our orthopedic and sports medicine teams offer noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments for plantar fasciitis. From physical therapy exercises to bracing and, in some cases, surgery – at Aurora Health Care, we’ve got you covered.
It’s important to get the right diagnosis and treatment to relieve plantar fasciitis and get back to an active life. At Aurora, we can provide both.
People choose us for plantar fasciitis treatment because of our:
Usually, plantar fasciitis develops with no apparent cause. However, these risk factors make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis:
Irritation and inflammation in the plantar fascia is the root cause of plantar fasciitis pain.
The most common causes of plantar fascia inflammation include:
With plantar fasciitis, sharp pain typically begins at the heel and gradually moves into the center of the foot. This type of pain can occur:
Plantar fasciitis treatment begins at home, with resting the foot and changing your routine. As symptoms decrease, most people are able to get back to their regular activities.
You may be able to relieve plantar fasciitis pain by:
If plantar fasciitis doesn’t improve within a few weeks or the pain gets worse, contact your doctor.
During a physical exam, we’ll ask about your foot pain, including when it started and what you think caused it. We’ll also do some simple tests to check where it hurts and study how your foot moves.
Sometimes, our doctors use X-rays to diagnose plantar fasciitis. X-rays show the bones in the foot. X-rays can also show heel spurs – bony growths on the heel bone that do not cause plantar fasciitis but often occur along with it.
Learn more about having a heel spur.
Our doctors might recommend medical treatments to relieve plantar fasciitis including:
If nonsurgical methods don’t work, surgery might be the best way to eliminate the cause of plantar fasciitis. Learn more about surgical treatments for foot and ankle pain at Aurora.