Plantar fasciitis (pronounced: "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tis") is most commonly the cause of heel pain. The Plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, and where the support for your arches come from. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflamed plantar fascia most frequently caused by overuse. Middle-aged people are generally the most affected by plantar fasciitis, though not exclusively. People who are on their feet for long periods of time, have high arches or flat feet, are obese, or have tight Achilles tendons are prone to experiencing this severe heel pain as well.
Plantar fasciitis characteristically comes about slowly. People with the condition describe the pain being most present during their first steps in the morning, after long periods of rest or when climbing stairs. Pain may also be brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin and may be worsened by a tight Achilles tendon.
Different simple and non-invasive treatments include: basic stretching exercises, ice, tapping, rest, strapping, proper or custom shoes, and/or custom orthotics, in combination with prescription anti-inflammatory medication (as needed). If the condition is not getting better, other treatments such as ultrasound, laser, cortisone injection or shockwave therapy may be tried. Usually multiple treatments being used, typically several at once, will alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis within a few months. Only in severe cases were the pain lasts for more than six months, would surgery or plantar fasciotomy be considered.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis are not serious and with several treatments (as listed above) can be alleviated. Check out our other blogs for ways to reduce strain on your feet, as well as the risk of plantar fasciitis.
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