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When to See a Podiatrist With Plantar

Plantar fasciitis is a tendonitis that affects the bottom of the foot and is one of the most frequent and painful foot ailments. Plantar simply refers to the bottom of the foot. Fascia is a tendon-like band that extends from the heel bone to the football and supports the arch. The suffix "-itis" denotes inflammation. As a result, the translation of "plantar fasciitis" is inflammation of the supporting band on the bottom of the foot.

What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Many patients with plantar fasciitis report pain beneath the heel bone or in the arch. This can affect one or both feet, ranging from minor achiness to severe and unbearable pain. Plantar fasciitis is generally caused by excessive physical activity or jobs that involve prolonged standing. 

Most patients treated for plantar fasciitis report "first-step" pain on the bottom of their feet in the morning. This subsides typically with activity and returns after brief periods of rest. It is commonly associated with tight calf muscles and poor arch support. Most plantar fasciitis disappears without incident, but it can persist, worsen, and be challenging to manage in certain circumstances.

When Should I See a Doctor About Plantar Fasciitis?

Some people urge consulting a doctor as soon as symptoms appear. The idea is that the sooner you treat something, the faster it heals. This is true, yet most plantar fasciitis may be treated with easy methods.

If you have mild plantar fasciitis, it is recommended that you obtain a firm over-the-counter arch support, stretch the Achilles tendon for 10 minutes every day, and ice the troublesome area at night. Try this for three weeks before consulting a doctor. 

However, if you are limping during daily activities or see swelling around the heel or arch of your foot, I suggest seeing a doctor immediately. In addition, if you believe the unpleasant sensations are worsening quickly or result from an accident, you should get an x-ray and more advanced therapies.

What Are the Consequences of Delaying Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?

The most profound effect of living with severe symptoms is the chance of making an incorrect diagnosis. Occasionally, a patient believes they have plantar fasciitis, but an x-ray shows a stress fracture. If left untreated, this can have serious long-term effects. In addition to stress fractures, some people misdiagnose plantar fasciitis with gout, Achilles tendinitis, and other painful diseases, causing them unnecessary suffering while addressing the wrong problem. 

Another reason not to wait too long to see a doctor is that when a painful disease progresses from acute to chronic, it can be more challenging to treat.

If you experience mild symptoms that you suspect are caused by plantar fasciitis, consider several home remedies. If your symptoms are more severe or unsure of their cause, make an appointment with a board-certified podiatrist for a thorough examination. This allows you to be confident in your diagnosis and guarantees that you are taking the necessary steps to resolve your issue as soon as possible.

Podiatrists have extensive experience treating plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel discomfort. A podiatrist may use tests such as an MRI, X-ray, or ultrasound to appropriately diagnose plantar fasciitis and rule out other conditions that cause heel discomfort. 

A podiatrist may also use physical therapy, night splints to stretch the plantar fascia gently, orthotics to help distribute weight more evenly, steroids to reduce inflammation and pain, and shock wave therapy to initiate the body's healing response. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove scar tissue or alleviate tension and swelling.

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