What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fasciitis is a result of stress on the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. This ligament supports the arch of your foot and can become inflamed. The inflammation typically begins at the heel, causing pain, especially when weight is applied after resting. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.
This is common in middle-aged people, but it can occur in younger people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet. It can occur in one foot or both feet, but is typically more severe in one foot.
Plantar fasciitis can lead to heel spurs. Heel spurs are extra bone growths where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel. They often are not the cause of the pain in the sore heel(s), but rather are considered a bi-product of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive strain to the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears over time that can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:.
- Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation)
- You have high arches or flat feet
- You walk, stand, or run for long periods, particularly on hard surfaces
- You are overweight
- You wear shoes that don’t fit well, or are worn out
- You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles
Most people with plantar fasciitis experience pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. They may have less stiffness and pain after taking a few steps, but may have an increase in pain as the day goes on. It can be most painful when climbing stairs or after standing for a long time. Foot pain at night may indicate a different problem, such as arthritis, or a nerve problem such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment can involve many at home activities, which include things like stretching, icing, and taking oral anti-inflammatories. However, sometimes more invasive treatment such as steroid injections, orthotics, night splints or formal physical therapy may be recommended. Rarely, cast therapy or even surgery can be performed to resolve the issue.