Do I Have Plantar Fasciitis, or Something Else?

By Dr. Ryan Lee

Have you ever woken up in the morning, stepped out of bed and felt a sharp, painful sensation on the bottom of your foot?

Or perhaps after a long day of being on your feet, you take another step and feel as though you’ve stepped on a rock, but the pain didn’t subside?

If you are nodding your head, yes, then you may be experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, or another foot condition with similar symptoms.

Today, I am going to explain a little more about plantar fasciitis, its common symptoms and treatments, as well as some other similar conditions to help you determine what is causing your pain and how to treat it.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the band of tissue that connects your toes to the heel of your foot. The painful symptoms commonly occur right as you are getting out of bed or when you have been on your feet all day, and sometimes right after exercising. The pain can be sharp and stabbing and can become serious enough to be quite debilitating.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by staying on your feet for too long every day, poor footwear that doesn’t give proper arch support, and inwardly rotated hips that put strain and stress on the muscles and tendons of the back of the leg and calves.

Plantar fasciitis can be self-remedying over time, but if it lasts longer than a couple months, or if the pain becomes unbearable, seek guidance from a health care professional. Treatments include chiropractic adjustments to fix the inward rotation of your hips, NSAIDS, foot orthotics for your shoes, footwear changes, workplace ergonomics requests, etc.

2. Heel Spur Syndrome

A heel spur is a small bony protrusion on the bottom of your heel formed by calcium deposits. It can often-times be seen in patients that are already experiencing plantar fasciitis.

Heel spurs form due to strains of the foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and chronic tearing of the membrane that covers the calcaneus (heel bone). Heel spurs are common in athletes that perform a lot of running or jumping but also in people that have jobs requiring them to stand for an extended period of time.

Heel spur symptoms are typically described as a sharp, knife like, sensation in the bottom of the heel of the foot. Risk factors include gait abnormalities such as inwardly rotated hips, having flat feet, sports engaging in a lot of running or jumping, staying on your feet most of the day, etc.

Treatment for heel spurs are very similar to those used to treat plantar fasciitis. Examples include: changing your footwear, workplace ergonomic improvements, over the counter pain relievers, and fixing the inwardly rotated hips via chiropractic care.

3. Nerve Entrapment

A pain in the heel of your foot that can be described by burning, tingling, and/or numbness is due to nerve entrapment. Nerve entrapment of the foot can manifest differently depending on which nerve is being entrapped. Still, nerve entrapment is most commonly unilateral, which means it occurs only in one foot at a time.

When being diagnosed with neuropathic heel pain, your doctor will have to rule out any systemic illnesses, as well as a L4-S2 lumbar radiculopathy.

Treatment of neuropathic heel pain include, resting, icing the site of inflammation, stretching exercises, and chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments have great success with relieving nerve entrapments of the heel as well as the rest of the body.

4. Other Medical Conditions

There are many different health conditions of the foot that can present like plantar fasciitis. Other medical conditions of the foot include:

  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Diabetic Ulcer
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Neuroma
  • Haglund Deformity

If you have been experiencing pain in the bottom of your foot for an extended period of time and have not seen any relief, it may be helpful to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

To schedule your new patient consultation with one of our skilled chiropractic physicians, click below.

This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.’

Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.

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