Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick layer of tissue under your heel bone becomes inflamed. Although it can prove to be difficult to resolve with conservative or traditional solutions, biologic therapy such as PRP injections have proven to be effective in treating plantar faciitis.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Like many sports injuries, plantar fasciitis can develop from the repetitive strain of continual sports activity. The plantar facia on the bottom of the foot develops small tears that create inflammation and pain.
Some of the root causes of plantar fasciitis are:
- Tight calf muscles that have not been adequately stretched can cause excessive foot pronation that exerts uneven pressure on the ligament that supports your arch.
- Repetitive strain on the sole ligament from prolonged sports activity.
- Poor foot support or worn foot gear.
- Misalignment in other parts of the leg that causes uneven foot planting or push off.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain at the bottom of the feet. These symptoms are typical:
- Painful or sensitive sensation along the ligament that connects the heel to the toes.
- Pain in the front, center of the heel bottom that is often worse in the morning.
- Pain in the sole of the foot triggered by long periods of standing or from getting to your feet from a sitting position.
How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
Dr. Yoon will give you a thorough examination to pinpoint the exact cause of your pain. While plantar fasciitis has straightforward causes and symptoms, other conditions may lead to pain in the same area, especially with athletically active patients. Imaging technology may reveal a broken or fractured bone or cartilage degeneration or a misaligned bone pinching a nerve. An X-ray or MRI may reveal a bone spur, but not all bone spurs cause pain or create complications. Dr. Yoon is very experienced at zeroing in on the actual cause to determine the most effective treatment.
For the professional athlete or for patients to whom competitive sports are an important part of their lives, a deep investigation into the cause of the pain is the best way to get back into full operation fastest.
What are the treatment options?
When plantar fasciitis is difficult to resolve or chronic or in cases where a faster recovery is necessary for professional athletes, platelet rich plasma injections have been found to produce remarkable improvements in several controlled studies.
Normally, plantar fasciitis cases with no extenuating complications that would prolong recovery are treated conservatively:
Physical therapy: a series of stretching exercises to correct the plantar facia tightness that lead to the tearing in the first place. This therapy includes exercising the Achilles tendon and the muscles of the lower leg, as they all work in concert. You may also require the support and compression of foot taping.
Shoe orthotics to correct pronation that’s been diagnosed, or other misalignments of the foot and lower leg that stress the ligaments and tendons and pull bones off balance.
Splints worn at night to stretch and lengthen the arch and calf.