Signs That You May Have Plantar Fasciitis

Could that pain in your heel be caused by plantar fasciitis? Your Alexandria, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Angelo Pace, treats the common foot condition at the Walker Lane and Sherwood Hall Lane offices of Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

These symptoms can occur if you have plantar fasciitis:

  • Heel pain that worsens during your first few steps in the morning, after you've been sitting for a long time or after exercising
  • Tingling or burning in your heel
  • Pain that increases if you flex your foot

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. The tough band of tissue connects your heel to your toes. You may be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if:

  • You've Gained a Few Pounds: Being overweight or obese puts added pressure on your feet and can stress or damage your plantar fascia, causing inflammation.
  • You Rarely Get a Chance to Sit Down During the Day: Factory workers, sales clerks, teachers and other people who spend a lot of time on their feet have an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
  • You've Been Spending More Time Working Out Lately: Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by overuse injuries that inflame or stress the fascia. The injuries typically occur in people who suddenly start new workout routines or increase the intensity or duration of their current routines.
  • You Need New Shoes: Your shoes may look perfectly fine, but that doesn't mean they still provide adequate support or cushioning for your feet.
  • You're Getting Older: Age can be a factor in plantar fasciitis. In fact, it's often diagnosed in people who are between 40 and 60.
  • You Have a Foot or Leg Issue: You may be more likely to develop the condition if you have flat feet, high arches, tight calf muscles or an abnormal gait.

What can be done to relieve plantar fasciitis pain?

Your Alexandria foot doctor can offer several suggestions that will ease your pain. Night splints will stress your fascia during the night, which may cause less pain when you take your first steps in the morning. Physical therapy exercises will also help stress the fascia and your calf muscles. Orthotics, prescription shoe inserts that cushion your foot and heel, can make walking and standing more comfortable.

If over-the-counter pain relievers don't improve your pain, a cortisone injection may be helpful. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy can promote healing if other treatment methods don't work. If your pain lingers for months, surgery may be an option.

Ease your foot pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist in Alexandria, VA, Dr. Pace of Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center, by calling (703) 971-7100 for the Walker Lane office or (703) 360-9292 for the Sherwood Hall Lane office.