Plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Overpronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis . As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.
Also known as heel spur syndrome , the condition is often successfully treated with conservative measures, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications. In more persistent cases, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT), Radio-Frequency Therapy (RF), Platelet-RIch Plasma Injections (PRP), or Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy may be used to treat the condition.
Regardless of the proposed treatment plan, each and every patient has their plantar fascia evaluated by Diagnostic Ultrasound (DxUS) to clearly visualize the plantar fascia. This is highly useful tool because not only can we see how treatments are working, but it also allows me to rule out splits, tears and ruptures in the fascia that would be contra-indicated in certain types of treatment. Its a joy seeing clients fully understanding and seeing their anatomy and why they are having the pain that brought them into my office in the first place. The plantar fascia is not only visualized but gets measured for overall thickness and then compaired to prior weeks. It is rewarding to see patients reactions when they come back for follow-up appointments and physically see their inflammed plantar fascia improve.
New for 2015, Westbury Foot Care added Radial Pulse Shock Wave Therapy (RSWT). This new modality is similar to ESWT but does not require a anesthetic block. It uses a electromagnetic head that creates a pulse of kinetic energy into the point of contact. This machine is used for all sorts of inflammatory pain from plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, neuromas, to bursitis. Treatments are generally painless and last about 4-5 minutes. They are performed every 5-7 days for approximately 3 treatments. It is a great modality for those patients who already have had other conservative treatments or who have had plantar fasciitis more than 6 months without relief. Long term plantar fasciitis, or fasciosis, develops scar tissue around the area of pain. Increased scar tissue reduces adequate blood flow and thereby reduces the ability to heal. Radial pulse therapy is highly effective is breaking down this scar tissue and allowing bloodflow to increase again.
If you are suffering from any type of acute pain, or have been suffering from chronic pain that just does not seem to improve with other treatments, please feel free to contact my office for an evaluation.