Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk. Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.
What Can Cause Plantar Fasciitis
There could be a number of reasons for plantar fasciitis, so it is important to have the condition diagnosed properly by a podiatrist, who will be able to determine the underlying condition that is causing the pain in your heel. This is done with various imaging tests and physical examinations, and by asking questions about the patient?s symptoms and medical history. Pain and other symptoms can vary, and may be persistent or intermittent. Women over the age of 40 are at a higher risk, but this condition can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter their fitness level.
What Are Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Plantar fasciitis usually develops slowly, although in some cases the pain can appear instantly and be very intense. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include Sharp, stabbing pain in the inside bottom part of the heel, Pain worsens as you stand, climb, tiptoe, etc., Pain is worse after long periods of rest, or first thing in the morning, Pain increases over a period of months, Not much pain while moving around, but an aching feeling after sitting down, Sometimes sufferers will feel pain when they walk, run, or jog. Other times, the pain will not be noticeable until they slow down and relax, possibly even after waking up from a good night?s sleep. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consider seeing a podiatrist before the problem worsens.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
No single treatment works best for everyone with plantar fasciitis. But there are many things you can try to help your foot get better, Give your feet a rest. Cut back on activities that make your foot hurt. Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces. To reduce pain and swelling, try putting ice on your heel. Or take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), or aspirin. Do toe stretchesClick here to see an illustration., calf stretchesClick here to see an illustration. and towel stretchesClick here to see an illustration. several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning. (For towel stretches, you pull on both ends of a rolled towel that you place under the ball of your foot.) Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try heel cups or shoe inserts (orthoticsClick here to see an illustration.). Use them in both shoes, even if only one foot hurts. If these treatments do not help, your doctor may give you splints that you wear at night, shots of steroid medicine in your heel, or other treatments. You probably will not need surgery. Doctors only suggest it for people who still have pain after trying other treatments for 6 to 12 months.