Dr Anthony Weinert, a foot doctor with practice locations in Warren and Troy, Michigan in the counties of Macomb and Oakland Counties, discusses a very common foot problem in his practice that patients come in complaining about. One of the most painful and unnerving issues that can occur in people of any age and any fitness level is heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that occurs when a specific part of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia is the long, elastic tissues that runs on the bottom of your foot from your heel through to your toes and connects the two parts.
If you have plantar fasciitis, or the longer term plantar fasciopathy, you will experience the following symptoms:
- Problems walking in the morning – if you have difficulty taking a step without pain that runs through the heel to the toes or in the lower area of the leg when first walking in the morning you may have plantar fasciitis.
- Sharp, shooting pains – these are hard to describe but, for many people, they feel like a knife or a hot, burning piece of metal is being inserted into the bottom of your foot. This may be felt more at the front part of the heel, the actual bottom or sole of the foot, or even farther back on the heel depending on the location of the inflammation.
- Walking, tiptoeing or going up steps increases the pain – the movement of the foot from back to font escalates or intensifies the sensations of pain. Walking on the toes, which puts additional pressure on this tissue, can be particularly painful. However, walking barefoot may also increase the pain to extreme levels.
- Swelling and/or pain in the heel – this can occur during, but more typically after, exercise. This exercise may be mild to moderate in intensity and may not be heavy or extreme. Jogging or walking briskly where the foot is constantly transferring weight from heel to toe in the natural gait are often the most problematic. Swelling may be mild to moderate and can include the entire heel. There may be also discoloration from bruising present.
- Changes in gait – if you have had an injury that caused you to change the way you place your feet in a stride, they weight distribution of your body or the way that you walk you may find that plantar fasciitis becomes a problem.
- Shoe problems – specific shoes, typically those that offer limited or no support tend to increase the pain, swelling and discomfort of plantar fasciitis.
If these symptoms seem to ring a bell and explain your heel or foot pain, see your podiatrist immediately. Early treatment can prevent plantar fasciitis from becoming the more serious plantar fasciopathy.
If you or your loved one is suffering with heel pain or foot pain, you can contact Dr Weinert’s office at 586-751-3338 (Warren) or 248-362-3338 (Troy) and schedule an appointment (often same day). You can also visit his website at www.stopfeetpainfast.com for more information on heel spur syndrome and plantar fasciitis. While on Dr Weinert’s website, you can also request a FREE copy of his written book “Stop Feet Pain Fast – A User’s Guide to Foot & Ankle Health”