Dr. Anthony explains if plantar fasciitis is considered a chronic condition.
Plantar fasciitis can be very frustrating and we see a lot of people that have tried a lot of things, and it hasn’t gotten better, and it just keeps aggravating them. The answer, “Will it ever go away?” is yes; this can go away, and 95% of the time it does go away, but it takes a stepwise treatment, and it takes strict abeyance of the laws, and that is don’t aggravate it; make sure you ice it; make sure you stretch it; make sure you take care of it.
And so, yes, it can get better with proper treatment of that. So if that initial phase doesn’t work, then the next level up is we usually get you into physical therapy, and a physical therapist will also do the stretches. They will make sure you are doing the exercise right. They will look at your footwear. They will look to see if you need an orthotic that is prescription-made orthotic. They may use some modalities like ultrasound or TENS or EMS or different modalities to increase the circulation there and decrease the inflammation of that area.
If that doesn’t work, the next level up is we do a steroid injection. The steroid injection isn’t as painful as everybody thinks, although it’s uncomfortable, but we don’t inject from the plantar surface; we inject from the side, so it’s not as painful as it could be, and the steroid there reduces the inflammation and breaks that cycle.
Now as long as you continue to do the stretches and the strengthening program that they teach you in physical therapy, the steroid shot will decrease the inflammation enough and decrease the pain enough so you can start to get back into your activity.
About Dr. Anthony, M.D.:
Dr. Anthony joined our practice in 1987 and is Board Certified in Family Practice and Sports Medicine. He is a Team Physician for the US Olympic Training Center, San Diego Christian College and Santa Fe Christian High School. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, adjunct professor at San Diego State University, and the primary care physician for the Alvarado Spine Institute.