The muscles and tendons in your feet can be irritated by injury or overuse to such a degree that you can't put weight on your feet. Achille's tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are two common foot conditions that can occur from playing sports or doing other physical activities. Here is what you need to know about these painful situations and how they are treated.
The plantar fascia is a small band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. It connects the base of the toes to the heel bone. It provides stability to your foot and helps to hold the arch in place.
When this tissue is irritated by injury or overuse, it becomes inflamed and painful. It can be so painful that your foot may collapse underneath you when you try to stand on it.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Some of the common causes of the irritation include:
- shoes that rub against the bottom of your foot
- over-stretching the tissue during exercise or sports
- inadequate warm up of the feet before exercising
- an injury that stretches the tissue band
- a bone spur where the tissue attaches to the bone
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
A podiatrist will evaluate the extent and cause of the irritation and recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- custom orthotics to wear in your shoes to remove pressure from the bottom of your foot
- physical therapy to slowly stretch out the tense muscles and plantar fascia
- steroid injections to reduce the pain and inflammation
- surgery to lengthen the tissue that was damaged by a previous foot injury
- surgical removal of a bone spur
The Achille's tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. It controls the up and down movement of your foot. When this tendon becomes irritated, moving your foot becomes painful and you may also find it too painful to walk.
Causes of Achille's Tendonitis
The Achille's tendon can become irritated by some of the same causes as plantar fasciitis, such as:
- shoes that rub on the back of your foot
- overuse of the tendon during exercise or sports
- poor warm up technique before exercising
- an injury that partially tears the tendon
Treatment of Achille's Tendonitis
The type of treatment recommended by the foot doctor depends on the initial cause.
- ankle supports and braces to stabilize the ankle and foot while the tendon heals
- physical therapy to put the tendon through its full range of motion to stretch out the tendon
- surgical lengthening of the tendon
If you're having any issues with your feet, contact a podiatrist like Jeffrey M Marks DPM as soon as possible.