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Plantar Fasciitis Specialist

James W. Ratcliff, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Los Gatos, CA

The pain caused by plantar fasciitis can have a major impact on your ability to walk, run, and engage in routine activities. Located in Los Gatos, California, board-certified podiatrist James W. Ratcliff, DPM, offers a number of advanced nonsurgical treatments for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. To find out which treatment is right for you, call the office or book your appointment online today.

Plantar Fasciitis Q&A

What is plantar fasciitis?

In most cases, when someone is suffering from heel pain, it’s caused by plantar fasciitis. Your heel bone and toes are connected by a band of tissues called the plantar fascia. Irritation and inflammation affecting these tissues can result in painful plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing heel pain that many people experience first thing out of bed in the morning. Plantar fasciitis pain can also be triggered by prolonged periods of sitting or standing. 

Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive stress and overuse that causes small tears to develop in the fascia tissue. 

Who gets plantar fasciitis?

Although plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, the condition is more common among people between the ages of 40 and 60. Certain factors like obesity or foot problems like flat feet or having an abnormal gait can cause increased pressure on the plantar fascia, increasing your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis also commonly affects runners and people who play sports like soccer and tennis. Without proper treatment, plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic pain and alter your walking pattern. 

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

Dr. Ratcliff begins your assessment with a physical exam and review of your medical history. In many cases, Dr. Ratcliff can diagnose your condition by determining the location of your pain. 

In addition to a physical exam, Dr. Ratcliff may conduct imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI. After your diagnosis, Dr. Ratcliff determines the best treatment for your condition. 

What treatments are available for plantar fasciitis?

Treatment for plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Night splints
  • Orthotics
  • Injections

Custom orthotics can improve your foot mechanics and relieve the pressure on your plantar fascia. Dr. Ratcliff also offers Shockwave EPAT®, an advanced, nonsurgical treatment that can help you achieve a quicker recovery. The goal of conservative treatment is to relieve your pain and allow your plantar fascia time to heal. 

What is Shockwave EPAT?

Shockwave Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) is a highly effective and noninvasive treatment that uses sound waves to increase blood circulation and help your body repair damaged tissue. Shockwave EPAT is an in-office procedure that takes 5-10 minutes and can provide immediate pain relief. 

In rare cases, Dr. Ratcliff may suggest surgery to properly treat plantar fasciitis. To find out which treatment is right for you, book your appointment by phone or online today.