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Diabetes & Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need To Know

Plantar Fasciitis is a sprain that affects the plantar fascia ligament located in your foot between the heel and the ball of the foot. It is usually most noticeable in the mornings when you first start walking. You will notice a sharp pain in your heel that generally goes away after a few minutes of walking around. Plantar fasciitis is most common among runners, people who work on their feet, people who are overweight, diabetics, and people between the ages of 40 and 60. 

Why might diabetics be more prone to plantar fasciitis?

Diabetics could be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis due to factors like weight, sedentary lifestyle, and hyperglycemia. Being overweight increases your risk of plantar fasciitis because the extra weight puts more pressure on your feet and your plantar fascia ligaments than you would normally have. Having a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of plantar fasciitis because it increases your chances of gaining extra weight. The other problem is that frequent inactivity can cause muscle, tendons, and ligaments to become weak and less capable of supporting you. Taking a couple of days to rest and recover can be a good break, but inactivity for weeks and/or months can be devastating to your body. 

Hyperglycemia is another reason that diabetics may develop plantar fasciitis. A recent study shows the connection between hyperglycemia and the thickening of the plantar fascia, which raises your risk of plantar fasciitis. 

What are the treatment options?

Several treatment options can help relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and help you get back to your normal activities. 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the recommended first step. A physical therapist will have you do stretches and exercises that will support your plantar fascia. They may also recommend some home remedies for you to do when you are not at physical therapy.

Home remedies might include: 

  • Supportive shoes

  • Low impact sports

  • Cold compress

  • Stretching

  • Maintaining a healthy weight  

Night Splints

Night splints are splints you wear on your foot and calf to keep them stretched out at night. These may make getting up easier. 

Cortisone Injections

Foot injections are steroid shots given in the foot. This is a good option for someone who is not a diabetic as steroids can cause a higher blood glucose level and cause further complications. 

Orthotics

Orthotics are a custom made arch support that stabilizes the plantar fascia and allows it to heal. Supporting the plantar fascia is one of the most successful treatments for this painful condition. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a procedure that uses sound waves to stimulate healing and tissue repair. 

Ultrasonic Tissue Repair

Ultrasonic tissue repair uses a probe and ultrasound energy to stimulate the tissue so that the ligament can repair itself. 

Surgery

Surgery is the last treatment option and should only be used when all other options fail and you are in severe pain. In the surgery, they detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone.

If you have symptoms of plantar fasciitis, give Teton Foot and Ankle a call to schedule your consultation. 

Published online: Jun 16, 2021

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