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It’s normal to get a little pain in your heels from a long day or an intense workout, but when should you worry that the pain means something more? Sharp, stabbing pain in your heel could be a sign of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common diagnosis for heel pain. Heel pain is caused by inflammation of the wideband tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes. This tissue supports your arch, provides cushioning, and absorbs impact.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or sitting at a desk all day, plantar fasciitis can affect you. If you suffer from this condition, it can interrupt not only your athletic ability but even everyday tasks like getting around the house. We’ve compiled a list of 3 signs that mean you should head over to a podiatrist to get checked out for plantar fasciitis.

You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms can arise over the course of a day or multiple days. For instance, you may have felt a twinge of heel pain that went away, but it came back the next day even worse. Some symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis are:

  • Sharp heel pain - The telltale symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp, stabbing pain in your foot or heel.
  • Pain after sleeping or resting - If you experience excessive pain in your heel when you first wake up or get up from a long period of sitting or laying down, you may have plantar fasciitis.
  • Pain after activity - Prolonged physical activity can cause the fascia to weaken, resulting in pain.
  • Foot tingling or burning - Sometimes, people with plantar fasciitis report a burning or tingling sensation in the affected foot, meaning a nerve is being squeezed or irritated.
  • Pain when flexing - If flexing your foot upwards is painful, you may have plantar fasciitis. This pain can be increased if you have a tight achilles tendon.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important that you get checked out by a podiatrist to see if you have plantar fasciitis.

You Only Feel Comfortable in Orthotics

Many people seek relief from foot and heel pain by using orthotics. If you find that you can only walk comfortably (or even just experience less pain) when wearing orthotics in your shoes, then you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Orthotics are shoe inserts that support the abnormal movement of a foot and provide extra comfort, support and stability. A quality pair of custom orthotics can improve your plantar fasciitis by supporting your arch and cushioning a sensitive heel pad.

The problem arises when people don’t know they have plantar fasciitis, and continuously try store-bought orthotics, only to find they are a short term fix. If you don’t know the extent of your foot’s condition, you can’t efficiently treat it. Many store-bought orthotics are flimsy memory foam soles made just for added comfort. If you find yourself running through these rapidly without promising results, it may be time to consult a podiatrist about being fitted for custom orthotics to address your plantar fasciitis.

You Have Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Certain activities or conditions can put you at risk for plantar fasciitis. Many experts believe that when the plantar fascia is put under strain, it becomes inflamed or develops micro-tears. Some things that may put you at risk for developing plantar fasciitis are:

  • High arches - If you have high arches, this can put strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Excessive foot pronation - When the foot lands on the ground, it pronates - meaning it rolls slightly inward. Someone who pronates too much ends up putting extra pressure on the inner foot, thus putting strain on the plantar fascia. This is common in those who have flat feet.
  • Running or jogging - Running or jogging a few miles makes the plantar fascia stretch and contract thousands of times. If the fascia is inflamed with each step, running will cause you pain.
  • Weak flexor muscles - The muscles that run along the bottom of your feet are essential. If these muscles are weak, then extra strain will be put on the plantar fascia.

If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, don’t hesitate to reach out to a podiatrist. At San Antonio Podiatry Associates, we make sure that plantar fasciitis won’t stop you from living your life. Our expert podiatrists can treat your plantar fasciitis with custom orthotics, alternative therapies, injections and more.

Are you looking for a podiatrist near you? If you need relief from plantar fasciitis, the podiatry specialists at San Antonio Podiatry Associates are here to help. With more than 145 years of combined experience, our team is equipped to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the efficient, personalized treatment you need. Schedule an appointment today, or call 210-405-7672 for more information.