If you experience ongoing (chronic) heel pain, you could have a condition known as chronic plantar fasciitis. As an experienced podiatrist, Thomas LeBeau, DPM, FACCWS, offers effective solutions to achieve long-term heel pain relief at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein in St. Augustine, Florida. Dr. LeBeau creates a custom treatment plan that can include physical therapy and orthotics to improve your mobility and restore the quality of your life. Schedule a consultation for plantar fasciitis today online or by calling the office.

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What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that travels along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.

Typically, your plantar fascia is very durable, designed to absorb the shock of your movements. When too much pressure is put on the tissue, tears can develop, causing irritation and inflammation that leads to chronic pain.

Your risk of plantar fasciitis increases as you get older and if you live an active lifestyle. You can also be prone to plantar fasciitis if you have high arches, are flat-footed, or are obese.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The hallmark symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot by the heel. Pain can become more intense as you walk or if you stand for long periods of time.

If left untreated, plantar fasciitis pain can become ongoing and interfere with your usual activities. Pain can also change the way you walk and lead to pain in the foot, hips, knees, and back.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

If chronic heel pain is interfering with the quality of your life, Dr. LeBeau reviews your symptoms and your medical history. In many cases, he can determine if pain relates to plantar fasciitis after a physical exam of your foot.

Dr. LeBeau can also request imaging tests to rule out other conditions like heel spurs that can cause heel pain. Imaging tests can include X-rays or an MRI, which he offers on-site for your convenience.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

The goal of treating plantar fasciitis is to ease or eliminate your pain and increase your mobility. Initially, Dr. LeBeau will probably recommend physical therapy and at-home stretching exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the muscles in your legs.

You might also find pain relief from over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatories and the use of orthotic shoe inserts to support your foot.

Periods of rest can ease pain and you can use heat and ice therapy to keep you comfortable and reduce inflammation when heel pain flares up.

If heel pain is disrupting your life and you want a long-term solution, schedule a consultation at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle today by phone or by using the online booking system.