What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick band of tissue (also called a fascia) at the bottom of your foot that runs from your heel to your toes.
Doctors once thought bony growths called heel spurs brought on the pain. Now they believe that heel spurs are the result — not the cause — of plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in your heel. It’s usually worse when you take your first steps in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a long time. It tends to feel better with activity but worsens again after you spend a long time on your feet.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Risk Factors
Your fascia supports the muscles and arch of your foot. When it’s overly stretched, you can get tiny tears on its surface. This can bring on pain and inflammation.
You’re at greater risk of plantar fasciitis if you:
- Are female
- Are 40 to 60 years old
- Are obese
- Have flat feet or high arches
- Have tight Achilles tendons, or “heel cords”
- Have an unusual walk or foot position
- Often wear high-heeled shoes
- Spend many hours standing each day
- Wear worn-out shoes with thin soles
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and check your feet to see where you’re having pain. They sometimes want you to have imaging tests to make sure something else isn’t causing your problem. These tests include:
- An X-ray to rule out bone fractures or arthritis
- An MRI to look for fractures
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Your treatments may include:
- Icing the area.
- Night splints. You wear these to stretch your calf and foot while you sleep.
- Physical therapy. Certain exercises can stretch your fascia and Achilles tendon and strengthen your leg muscles, which will make your ankle and heel more stable.
- Rest. Stop doing things that make the pain worse. This might include some types of exercise, like running or jumping.
- Supportive shoes or inserts. Shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning will make it less painful for you to stand or walk. Arch supports can distribute pressure more evenly across your feet.
- Taking pain-relieving non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. You shouldn’t take these for more than a month, so talk to your doctor.
Once you begin treatment, you’ll usually see improvement within 10 months. If you aren’t better then, your doctor might try treatments like shots of cortisone, a type of steroid, to ease inflammation. In rare cases, you might need surgery.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. It results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest. Pain is also frequently brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin. The pain typically comes on gradually, and it affects both feet in about one-third of cases.
The cause of plantar fasciitis is not entirely clear. Risk factors include overuse such as from long periods of standing, an increase in exercise, and obesity. It is also associated with inward rolling of the foot, a tight Achilles tendon, and a lifestyle that involves little exercise. While heel spurs are frequently found it is unclear if they have a role in causing the condition. Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the insertion site of the ligament on the bone characterized by micro tears, breakdown of collagen, and scarring. Since inflammation plays either a lesser or no role, a review proposed it be renamed plantar fasciosis. The diagnosis is typically based on signs and symptoms; ultrasound is sometimes useful. Other conditions with similar symptoms include osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, heel pad syndrome, and reactive arthritis.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with time and conservative methods of treatment. For the first few weeks, those affected are usually advised to rest, change their activities, take pain medications, and stretch. If this is not sufficient, physiotherapy, orthotics, splinting, or steroid injections may be options. If these measures are not effective, extracorporeal shockwave therapy or surgery may be tried.
Between 4% and 7% of the general population has heel pain at any given time: about 80% of these are due to plantar fasciitis. Approximately 10% of people have a disorder at some point during their life. It becomes more common with age. It is unclear if one sex is more affected than the other.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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