Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. People who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia, although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis.
Even though plantar fasciitis can develop without an obvious cause, some factors can increase your risk of developing this condition. They include:
Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Changing the way you walk as a way to relieve plantar fasciitis pain might lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed based on your medical history and physical examination. During the exam, your doctor will check for areas of tenderness in your foot. The location of your pain can help determine its cause.
Usually no tests are necessary. Your doctor might suggest an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make sure another problem, such as a stress fracture, is not causing you pain.
Sometimes an X-ray shows a piece of bone sticking out (spur) from the heel bone. In the past, these bone spurs were often blamed for heel pain and removed surgically. But many people who have bone spurs on their heels have no heel pain.
Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative treatment, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
Stretching and strengthening exercises or using special devices may relieve symptoms. They include:
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
Typically, people with patellofemoral syndrome can make changes to their training regimen and at-home care to reduce their symptoms. The condition may be harder to treat in older adults and people who have pain in both kneecaps.
For more information about knee pain, or to discuss treatment options, book a free consultation with our clinic today. Call 905-593-1605.