Living With and Treating Plantar Fasciitis

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 1 percent of adults in the United States are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis each year. Women are more likely than men to develop it, and a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more makes it five times more likely that you’ll develop plantar fasciitis than someone with a lower BMI.  

Most people who have plantar fasciitis say that it causes moderate pain, but about 25% report severe pain. Regardless of whether you feel mild, moderate, or severe pain due to plantar fasciitis, it probably limits you. Perhaps you can’t walk or run for fitness due to the pain, or maybe you can’t think of anything except getting home after work to prop up your aching feet after standing most of the day. 

If you think you might have plantar fasciitis or want to know more about it, Dr. Kerry Berg and our team at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, provide information about the condition and ways to treat it. 

Plantar fasciitis basics

Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the base of your toes to your heel. It’s partly responsible for shock absorption each time you take a step.

When you have plantar fasciitis, that band of tissue develops tiny tears, and the result is the pain you feel. You most likely feel it in your heel, especially first thing in the morning, but you may also feel it in the arch of your foot. 

What you can do

You’re not doomed to live with plantar fasciitis forever. A few things can ease the pain. 

Over-the-counter medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be helpful. NSAIDs, along with icing your foot, can relieve your immediate pain in the short term. 

Dr. Berg works with each patient to develop a personalized stretching and strengthening routine that can help slow the progression of plantar fasciitis and help you begin to heal.

Although it’s probably the last thing you want to do, walking may be the most beneficial thing you can do to ease plantar fasciitis, as long as you’re wearing appropriately supportive, cushioned shoes and you stretch afterward. Dr. Berg recommends how much each patient should walk to improve plantar fasciitis. 

Another possible treatment is the use of a night splint. A splint keeps your foot flexed while you sleep, stretching your plantar fasciitis gently. 

In some cases, Dr. Berg recommends special inserts for your shoes, or a specialized therapy called extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). In the rarest cases, she may suggest surgery. 

If you’re ready to learn how to live more comfortably with plantar fasciitis, book an appointment at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates. Dr. Berg is happy to recommend a treatment program designed to work in the context of your busy life.

Our online scheduling tool is quick and easy to use, or you’re welcome to give us a call to schedule an appointment between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. 

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