Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Pronounced “plantar fash-ee-eye-tis,” the term Plantar Fasciitis literally means foot inflammation.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue beneath the skin at the bottom of the foot. It begins at your toes and continues to the heel and wraps around the heel bone and forms the Achilles tendon. The plantar fascia plays a large role in maintaining the normal mechanics of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition caused by overuse or injury to this area. Symptoms include sharp heel pain, burning in the sole of the foot, recurring foot pain that is especially present in the morning or after sitting, or heel pain after beginning a new exercise routine.

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WHAT CAUSES PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

There are a number of predisposing factors, including the way you walk, obesity, poorly fitting shoes, minor trauma, occupational risks, and a change in your exercise program. Although everyone is at risk, plantar fasciitis is most commonly found in athletes, runners, over-weight individuals, or those required to stand on hard surfaces for pro-longed periods. ESWT is an appropriate treatment option for approximately 5 to 10 percent of people suffering from plantar fasciitis – most others are treatable with therapies that are more conservative.

WHAT IS ESWT?

heelpaincenterlogoExtracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, also known as ESWT, is a non-surgical, outpatient treatment option for the intense, persistent heel pain associated with chronic plantar fasciitis. “Extracorporeal” means “outside the body.” Shockwaves, also known as pressure or sound waves, are generated by a special ESWT device, and focused onto the targeted tissue. The shock waves are delivered to stimulate and reactivate the body’s repair mechanisms to advance normal tissue healing, as well as over-stimulate the nerves to reduce the sensitivity and pain.

Benefits of ESWT

  • Stimulates your body’s own healing
  • Compared to surgery, ESWT has fewer side effects
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia are eliminated

Heel Bone Spurs

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Calcium growths on the underside of the foot bones often associated with plantar fasciitis. Pain may occur if there is inflammation. Treatments range from exercise and custom-made orthotics to anti-inflammatory medication.