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The Plantar Fascia Controversy: What’s Really Wrong?

We all love something new and exciting. This year, Las Vegas residents and visitors have been enjoying the Las Vegas High Roller—the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It shows you stupendous views of the city and surrounding area from 43 stories in the air. We can’t compete with that, but we can tell you something new about that pain under your heel when you first step out of bed each morning: it might not be plantar fasciitis.

You may not have even heard the term before, but it’s been a familiar one to podiatrists for decades. Unfortunately, it’s not a totally accurate one. The itis part of the word implies inflammation of the plantar fascia—a strong band of tissue that connects your heel and toe bones. Most of the time your pain in your heel is not due to inflammation in this connector, however, but rather degeneration of the tissue.

So here’s where the new part comes in: some doctors are now referring to this problem as Chronic Plantar Heel Pain (CPHP)—a more accurate description of the condition. “Chronic” means the pain is ongoing (although it may disappear and come back again) and “plantar” refers to the bottom surface of your foot. The discomfort is felt under the foot, often hurts with your first steps in the morning, gets better as you walk around a bit, and then comes back again after another period of rest.

There are many reasons that this tissue band can start to degenerate, including genetics, standing on hard surfaces for long periods, overuse, poor footwearbeing overweight, and aging. Whatever the cause, once it starts it can be frustrating, because it takes a long time to heal (several months to a year is not uncommon).

We can help your sore heel with conservative treatments like night splints, custom orthotics, pain medications, and ultrasound or shock-wave therapy. Certain stretches that increase flexibility in the Achilles tendon and calf muscles can be helpful as well.

If you want to find out what’s really wrong with your foot, call Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas by dialing (702) 839-2010 and setting up an examination with our expert podiatrists. With the right diagnosis and specific treatment designed for your foot, we can help you minimize the ache and heal your plantar fascia, and you can look forward to something new—walking without heel pain!

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