This is a common condition and a good portion of our patients suffer from it. A common cause of heel pain is an inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. The inflammation is called plantar fasciitis. It is common among athletes who run and jump a lot, and also those who stand for prolonged periods. For example, teachers or factory workers may be more susceptible to this injury.
The condition occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain, and possibly the growth of a bone spur where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. The inflammation may be aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support, especially in the arch area; by walking barefoot; and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle. Resting provides only temporary relief.
When you resume walking, particularly after a night’s sleep, you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk, the heel pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may be just a false sense of relief. The pain often returns after prolonged rest or extensive walking.
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is usually made by clinical examination.
Depending on your particular situation, she may elect to use imaging studies like radiographs (X-rays), diagnostic ultrasound and MRI. Conservative treatments may include night splints (dispensed at our office and usually covered by insurance), custom orthotics (sometimes covered by insurance), cortisone injections if needed, and cold laser treatments. Dr. Farajian does not recommend surgery unless you are still having pain after trying other treatments for 6 to 12 months.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:
- Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation camera).
- You have high arches or flat feet.
- You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
- You are overweight.
- You wear shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out.
- You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
- What are the symptoms?
- Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.
Family Foot & Ankle also offers the revolutionary SUPER PULSED LASER TREATMENT for Plantar Fasciitis pain relief. The Multi Radiance 4 Super Pulsed Laser is the latest FDA approved treatment for foot and ankle pain that uses non-invasive cold laser therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. Just a few short painless treatments and you will be back to your active lifestyle. This highly effective treatment is popular with professional and college sports teams.
View this video about Light Therapy:
The MR4 was the first of its kind to combine: 1) super-pulsed infrared laser radiation; 2) pulsating broadband infrared non-coherent light; 3) pulsating red light (LED); and 4) a constant magnetic field. These four act simultaneously and synergistically to provide a non-invasive, drugless, safe, and painless method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote tissue healing in both chronic and acute conditions.
Benefits of Laser Therapy:
- Virtually No Contra-Indications
- Easy to Apply
- No Side Effects or Pain
- Very Safe
- Cost Effective
- Highly Effective for Patient (more than 90% efficacy)
- Superior Alternative to: Analgesics, NSAID’s, Other Medications, Other Modalities
- Reduces Need for Surgery
Therapeutic Laser Biological Effects
Rapid Cell Growth – Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
Faster Wound Healing – Laser light stimulates fibroblast development and accelerates collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
Increased Metabolic Activity – Higher outputs of specific enzymes, greater oxygen and food particle loads for blood cells and thus greater production of the basic food source for cells, Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP).
Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation – Laser light reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from: cuts, scratches, burns or post surgery.
Anti-Inflammatory Action – Laser light reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to give enhanced joint mobility.
Increased Vascular Activity – Laser light induces temporary vasodilation increasing blood flow to damaged areas.
Stimulated Nerve Function – Slow recovery of nerve function in damaged tissue can result in “dead” limbs or numb areas. Laser light speeds the process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas back to life.
MR4 laser technology is the first of its kind to combine the entire range of the therapeutic light spectrum and deliver therapeutic energy in a synergistic manner. The syncing of the therapeutic wavelengths creates an optimal environment that reinforces the effects of the individual wavelengths to create the world’s most advanced pain relieving modality.
This FDA cleared device provides an effective non-surgical, drug-free treatment option. MR4 laser features a unique combination of radiances that work synergistically for optimal pain relief and healing. These include: super pulsed laser, pulsed broadband infrared SLDs, pulsed red light, static magnetic field and electrical stimulation.
The MR4 includes the patented LaserSweep technology which creates a constantly changing frequency to scan the selected target tissue from superficial to deep. This prevents biological adaptation to treatment for maximum impact.
The MR4 excels where most laser devices fall short. It delivers higher peak power yet is safe without the risk of thermal damage found with class IV lasers.