Plantar Fasciitis Specialist

American Surgeons Group

Podiatrists located in Homewood, Mokena, & South Chicago Heights, IL

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, but the expert team at American Surgeons Group can help. Board-certified podiatrists Timothy Horak, DPM, and Dr. Julia Shauger, DPM, diagnose and treat patients with plantar fasciitis at three convenient locations in Homewood, South Chicago Heights, and Mokena, Illinois. If you suffer from heel pain, call or book an appointment online.

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue that stretches across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes. Plantar fasciitis happens when this tissue becomes irritated and inflamed, usually from overuse, causing foot pain.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes about 2 million people to seek medical care every year. Dr. Horak and Dr. Shauger have extensive experience treating plantar fasciitis and help you resume your favorite activities as quickly as possible.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The role of the plantar fascia is to absorb the stress you place on your feet throughout the day. Sometimes, too much pressure causes the tissues to tear, which leads to inflammation and pain.

Several factors can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, such as:

  • Repetitive impact activity such as running
  • Obesity
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Beginning a new sport or exercise

People with very high arches may also be more prone to this condition. However, plantar fasciitis often occurs without an identifiable cause. 

What does plantar fasciitis feel like?

Plantar fasciitis typically causes stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot near the heel. Pain may be worse when you first get up in the morning, or after sitting for long periods of time. It’s common for people with plantar fasciitis to feel more intense heel pain after, but not during, sports or exercise.

What is a heel spur?

Many people with plantar fasciitis also suffer from heel spurs, or calcified growths on the heel bone. However, heel spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis pain. Therefore, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger may be able to treat your heel pain without removing the spur.

How do you diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis?

First, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger perform a physical exam of your foot to look for signs of plantar fasciitis. To make sure your heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis and not something else, they may take an X-ray or ultrasound imaging test.

Then, they develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Plantar fasciitis treatment often includes:

  • Rest from activities that cause pain
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Stretches to relieve tight muscles
  • Cortisone injections
  • Custom orthotics to place in your shoes 

If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger may recommend an MRI to evaluate for heel bone stress fractures or bone marrow edema. If stress fractures are present a minimally invasive bridge procedure can be performed to internally fixate and stabilize the fractures. In rare cases, plantar fasciotomy and heel spur excision surgery are performed.

For expert plantar fasciitis care, call American Surgeons Group or book an appointment online.