Plantar fasciitis is a painful heel condition that affects the plantar fascia (which is the fibrous band of tissue connecting the bottom of the foot to the heel bone and metatarsals at the ball of the foot). The plantar fascia helps maintain the arch of the foot, foot stability, and movement. Repeated stretching and contracting can result in micro-tears and/or inflammation of the plantar fascia. If the plantar fascia ruptures, the arch of the foot collapses and the foot flattens. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis often feel heel pain when getting out of bed or after prolonged sitting because the plantar fascia goes from a relaxed shortened state to a weighted, forced stretch. Those at greater risk for plantar fasciitis are those with flat feet, excessive foot pronation or feet that roll inward, high arches, weak plantar flexor muscles, those who run, and those who stand or walk for prolonged periods of time without sufficient rest and renewal. Because other types of heel pain may be misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis, and untreated heel pain can worsen and interfere with daily functioning, if pain persists, a visit to a podiatrist is the best course of action for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Having high arches in your feet
- Other foot issues such as flat feet
- Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
- Being on your feet very often
There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.
- Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain
There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.