The term Plantar Fasciitis describes a podiatry condition related to the plantar fascia. This ligament connects the heel bone to the toes and provides support for the arch of the foot. Problems with this ligament can cause serious heel pain in people of all ages. Plantar Fasciitis can lead to pain when standing or sitting. This small area within the field of orthopedics accounts for the majority of heel pain issues. Here are the basic facts you should understand about Plantar Fasciitis in order to identify, understand, and better address it.
What causes it?
There are many activities that lead to a strain on the plantar fascia. That strain results in tiny tears in the ligament, which results in inflammation and pain. Common activities that cause that strain include walking with the feet rolled inward, walking, standing, or running for long periods of time, and wearing shoes that don't fit well or are too worn out. Also, being overweight, having high arches, or flat feet can trigger this problem.
What are the symptoms?
Pain will be most prevalent first thing in the morning, then again later in the day. It often hurts the most when an individual is climbing stairs or has been standing for a very long time.
How is it diagnosed?
For official diagnosis, you'll need to see an orthopedics doctor. He or she will thoroughly review your feet and walking habits. The doctor will ask you questions about your overall health, activity, and detailed information about the types of pain you experience in your feet. X-rays or other medical testing may be done to rule out other potential medical issues.
What treatment options are available?
There are many small lifestyle modifications you can take to get relief from pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Avoid activities that you know cause pain, such as standing still for a long period of time on a hard surface. Do stretches first thing in the morning, and even throughout the day, to ensure your calf and toe muscles aren't too tight. Also, make sure you have shoes with excellent arch support and a cushioned sole. If you wear high heels or more formal shoes, experiment with different inserts to see which feels best.
Check our additional resources on podiatry on our resources section.