Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis Specialist
Plantar fasciitis becomes more common with age, causing widespread pain and other symptoms that extend from the heel along the sole of the foot. Without professional care, those symptoms can become worse over time, eventually taking a toll on mobility and even changing balance and gait patterns. NoVa Foot and Ankle uses state-of-the-art treatment options for plantar fasciitis in patients from Herndon and Springfield, Virginia, helping to relieve pain and address the underlying cause to keep symptoms at bay.

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a very strong, tough band of tissue that extends along the length of the bottom of the foot, providing support for the arch while also facilitating normal movement and flexibility in the foot. In plantar fasciitis, this band becomes irritated and inflamed, and tiny tears can form along the length of the band, causing pain primarily in the heel and along the side of the foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Most often, plantar fasciitis occurs in people with anatomical or structural problems with their feet, including flat feet or “fallen” or very high arches. The condition can also be caused by obesity, wearing shoes that don’t provide proper support, and spending long periods of time standing.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • heel pain
  • pain or aching in the arch of the foot or the midfoot region
  • numbness or burning sensations in the midfoot region or heel area

Symptoms often feel worse when standing or walking after a period of rest and immobility (like when getting up after a night’s sleep), and may lessen as the foot is moved and the plantar fascia “warms up.” However, after another period of rest, the symptoms will return.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Prior to treatment, the foot will be carefully evaluated to determine the cause of pain. During the initial evaluation, the patient’s medical history and their symptoms will be carefully reviewed, and active and passive range-of-motion exercises may be used to help isolate the cause of pain. X-rays may also be ordered to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. Once plantar fasciitis is diagnosed, treatment usually begins with conservative options like:

  • therapeutic stretching exercises to improve flexibility in the foot and lower leg
  • selecting shoes that provide proper support and avoiding going barefoot or wearing flat slippers
  • braces or splints at night to gently stretch the plantar fascia
  • custom orthotics to address structural problems and provide customized support
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation
  • laser treatments to stimulate healing and reduce painful inflammation

If symptoms don’t resolve using these conservative approaches, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to relieve inflammation and pain or a removable walking cast may be prescribed. In a few cases, patients may continue to experience painful symptoms even after months of treatment. In those instances, surgery may be recommended to reposition the plantar fascia, remove heel spurs or address other underlying issues. 

Our Pain Laser at NOVA Foot and Ankle in Herndon and Springfield, Virginia is FDA cleared to emit energy in the visible and infrared spectrum, to provide topical heating for the purpose of elevating tissue temperature for the temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain or stiffness, minor arthritis pain, or muscle spasm, the temporary increase in local blood circulation, or the temporary relaxation of muscle.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location