Our last article was all about causes of sore heels; there were a lot of conditions mentioned in that article so you might find it useful if you have pain in your heel. However, there was one that we missed off the list, plantar fasciitis. The reason we missed this very common cause of heel pain off of the list was because we wanted to go into a lot more detail about the condition. So, that is what we are going to do today. Below, is some details about plantar fasciitis, we hope this article is helpful and that you can understand the condition a little more after reading this.
What is plantar fasciitis?
It is a common condition that affects the heel. It causes pain in the heel because it affects the plantar fascia which is a web-like ligament that connects your heel to your toes. This ligament helps you walk and also supports the arch of your foot. The pain from plantar fasciitis doesn’t always originate from the heel, it can be further up, but the heel is the most common place to feel pain from the condition.
What are the causes?
The plantar fascia receives a lot of wear through its life. It is in constant use throughout your day and acts as a shock absorber when you walk, run and jump. Too much pressure on the ligament can cause small tears to the ligament and these will cause swelling, stiffness and pain. Common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Being overweight
- Long distance running
- Active jobs
- High arches or flat feet
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear
Women are slightly more prone to get the condition than men, and it is most common in people aged between 40 and 70.
Popular complaints from people with plantar fasciitis are pain in their heel and stiffness in the bottom of their foot. Both of these will develop gradually and typically only in one foot, but the condition can affect both. Some people say the pain is a dull pain, while others complain of a sharp, burning or aching pain. The pain is likely to be worse in the morning when you take your first steps or after resting for a while. However, the pain can also flare up after a period of heavy exercise; this is because the ligament has become inflamed.
Thankfully, treating plantar fasciitis is fairly easy and there is plenty of things that you can do at home to stop the pain and get rid of plantar fasciitis altogether. Initial home treatments can include:
- Applying ice
- Changing or reducing activity
- Using arch supports
- Doing certain stretches
Anti-inflammatory medication can also be used to help reduce the swelling and the pain.
If none of the above treatments work, your doctor may recommend that you try physical therapy, injections of corticosteroids and other methods of treatments. In extreme cases of plantar fasciitis, surgery may be used to sort the issue out, although this is rare.
We hope this article about plantar fasciitis has answered some of your questions about the condition. If you would like our help with sorting out your foot condition, then please get in touch, we will be happy to help.