Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is associated with several common symptoms. These include:

  • A sharp or stabbing pain in the heel area, especially when first standing up after a period of rest
  • Pain that worsens after long periods of standing or activity
  • Swelling in the heel area
  • Redness and warmth in the heel area

A podiatrist is most qualified to diagnose plantar fasciitis. Your podiatrist will conduct a physical examination of the foot, assessing for pain and tenderness in specific areas. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or ultrasonography might be recommended to rule out other causes of your pain, such as a stress fracture.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

In most cases, there is a two-part approach to treating plantar fasciitis. After we confirm the diagnosis and identify the most likely root causes, we'll typically recommend a personalized combination of treatment strategies you can begin at home. These may include:

Limiting physical activity.

This will give your heels time to rest and recover.

Using ice.

Place a pack on your heel for 20 minutes at a time, two or three times per day, to alleviate inflammation. Always wrap the ice in a thin towel first—you don't want to apply it directly to your skin.

Stretching exercises.

We'll suggest some plantar fascia and calf stretches that can ease pain and help encourage healing.

Avoiding walking barefoot.

Your shoes are a critical tool to help reduce stress on your plantar fascia. Make sure your shoes provide good arch support with a slightly raised heel.

More severe cases of plantar fasciitis may require more aggressive treatment options.

Arch supports or custom orthotics.

In some cases, shoes don't provide enough cushioning and support, especially if you have an underlying structural abnormality in your foot.

Strapping and padding.

Straps help support and reduce strain on the plantar fascia, while pads cushion impacts.

Night splints.

These devices are worn at night to keep the plantar fascia in a stretched position. This may help make the first steps of the morning much less painful.

Physical therapy.

This may be necessary if simple home stretches aren't providing enough relief.

Regenerative therapy.

Our office is equipped with several state-of-the-art treatments that accelerate natural healing without using drugs, including various forms of soft tissue therapy.

Injection therapy.

A shot of cortisone can provide medium-to-long-term relief from pain and inflammation while the injury itself heals.

In rare cases, you may need to wear a removable walking cast for a few weeks in order to protect the foot and keep it immobile during the healing process.

Surgery is generally only considered if pain continues after several months, despite attempts to correct it. While it happens occasionally, surgery is only needed in about one out of 20 cases.

Are You Or A Family Member Suffering With Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're suffering from plantar fasciitis or heel pain you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.