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Oh My Aching Feet!

Woman having hydrotherapy water footbathHow often do you say to yourself “my feet are killing me”? Most people think that their shoes are to blame for foot discomfort and in many cases it’s true; however, there are other causes generally associated with lifestyle (exercise), skeletal health and obesity. Because our feet (especially our heels), take a pounding on a daily basis, it’s important to determine the cause of your heel pain so that a treatment plan can begin. If you are suffering from foot pain, contact the experts at the Heel Pain Center of Atlanta, a specialty center of American Foot and Leg Specialists, to schedule an appointment today.

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

The term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain is Plantar Fasciitis and is traced to inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). This tissue stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. The most common cause of Plantar Fasciitis is over pronation. 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 which leads to a variety of other foot problems. Other causes include the following:

• Plantar fasciitis with heel spur syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
• Sural, tibial, or medial calcaneal nerve entrapment
• Radiculopathy or lower lumbar back problems
• Arthritis
• Flat foot
Achilles tendonitis
• Increase or decrease in weight
• Gastroc equinus
Heel fractures

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Many people that suffer from plantar fasciitis describe their symptoms as a constant heel pain while sitting, resting, walking (short or long distances), and during or after exercise. The pain ranges from sharp stabbing pains to deep aches accompanied by a burning feeling in the heel area.

The physicians at American Foot and Leg start with a physical examination to pinpoint the exact cause of heel pain, and then use X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans as needed. Once a plantar fasciitis diagnosis has been made, patients are presented with several treatment options depending on the severity. Sometimes splints, orthotics, or physical therapy is all that is needed; however, extreme or advanced cases of plantar fasciitis may require outpatient surgery. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection is the most common treatment for plantar fasciitis and widely used by dozens of athletes suffering from sports injuries. What exactly is PRP?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment

PRP injections are used to reduce healing time. The procedure works through a system where blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge. There are many growth factors in the separated blood which is then injected in the damaged or injured area. These growth factors accelerate healing time for plantar fasciitis and other related foot conditions including joint arthritis, achilles tendonitis, or any other tendon tear or inflammation. Injections are administered in the treatment areas after it is numbed, so pain is never a problem. Most patients will be immobilized with the use of a boot for several weeks and asked not to exercise on their feet. In summary, success rates for PRP are extremely high and safe with no side effects.

If you suffer from heel pain don’t ignore it any longer – Heel Pain Center of Atlanta, a specialty component of American Foot and Leg Specialists can help you get back on your feet in time for summer fun! Learn more about plantar fasciitis and PRP treatment, here. Call 404/363-9944 or go online to schedule an appointment at one of four convenient locations south of Atlanta in Stockbridge, Locust Grove, Fayetteville, and Forest Park.