The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Plantar Pain: Causes and Treatment of This Common Foot Malady

Posted by on Monday, March 17th, 2014

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Do you dread your first few steps out of bed each morning? Do you have intense arch pain when you get up to walk after a prolonged period of sitting? Does your foot pain generally decrease as you continue too walk? Does the pain return with a vengeance if you have been walking on hard surfaces for a long period of time? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, then you may be one of the 2 million + Americans suffering from a condition called plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most common conditions we treat here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC.

plantar pain
If you have stabbing plantar pain in one of these areas of the foot, you probably have plantar fasciitis.
Image Source: TheCFIM.com

What Causes Plantar Pain?

The Plantar Fascia is a strong band of tissue connecting your heels to the balls of your feet. This ligament cushions shock as you stand, walk, run, or bear weight. You may suffer irritation or inflammation (in the form of stabbing pain) if you have stressed your feet out through overuse. Many people naturally reach this point with middle age when the heel’s fat pads thin out. People with flatter feet may suffer from plantar fasciitis sooner than others. Obesity, sudden weight gain, occupations that involve a lot of standing, sports activities (like long distance running or ballet), and wearing shoes that lack arch support are all risk factors that contribute to plantar pain.

plantar fascia
The plantar fascia connects the heels to the balls of the feet.
Image Source: A.D.A.M. via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

One Woman’s Battle with Plantar Pain

The Pueblo Chieftain recently told the story of plantar pain sufferer Tammy Moore, a graphic designer and fitness instructor from Pueblo, Colorado. “I didn’t know I had it. I thought I just needed new shoes,” she told the newspaper. After several months of cramped arches every morning and persistent heel pain, the doctor told her that she had plantar fasciitis inflammation.

It took Moore about a year to fully heal with conventional treatment. She did a lot of stretching with a foam roller. She attended regular physical therapy sessions. She wore special boots at night, switched to low-heel shoes and bought custom insoles which, she said, “felt like pillows” under her feet. All in all, she spent about $1,000 treating the condition. She also recommends running on a treadmill, rather than on hard surfaces, and seeking a therapy called myofascial release.

plantar fasciitis treatment
Running on a treadmill is better for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Image Source: Bodybuilding.com

Treating Plantar Pain in New York

Our board-certified NY podiatrists treat thousands of plantar pain cases each year. Ninety percent of patients can be treated without surgery, but the sooner you seek help, the better.  At The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City, our podiatrists and physical therapy team will evaluate your condition and look for the root cause of your plantar pain. We’ll show you how to stretch the tightened tissues and strengthen weak muscles or tendons. We can also take a look at your footwear to be sure it’s supportive enough, offer suggestions, and measure you for custom orthotic insoles. We are currently accepting new patients without a long wait time, so visit us online to book your appointment.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.