Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band that stretches across the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. It can result in pain and discomfort. The pain is most noticeable in the mornings, and it can make it hard to walk and run. It is most common in runners, but it can also affect people who are overweight and people who wear shoes with poor support. It can be treated and prevented.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
The plantar fascia is designed to help support the arches. If the plantar fascia becomes too stretched, it can tear. Too much running, climbing, or injuries to the foot can all cause plantar fasciitis, but most of the time, the cause is unknown.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The symptoms of plantar fascia can vary by individual. Some people only experience mild symptoms, while others suffer from symptoms that are so severe that they can make it hard to walk. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Heel pain
- Pain in the bottom of the foot
- Pressure on the bottom of the foot
- Ankle pain
- Foot pain after exercise
- Foot pain after waking up or after long periods of sitting
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
Doctors can diagnose plantar fasciitis based on symptoms and a physical exam. The doctor will inspect the foot and put pressure on certain spots to find out where the pain is. Doctors rarely perform tests, but if they decide tests are necessary, the tests they conduct may include:
MRI: This will show the doctor what the foot looks like on the inside and can rule out other food problems.
X-ray: X-rays can show if the plantar fascia is inflamed or if there are any other issues that could be causing the pain, such as a bone spur.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Most doctors recommend a simple self-care treatment for plantar fasciitis. Doctors may recommend simple treatments such as:
- Ice packs
- Over-the-counter medications
If these treatments don’t help the condition improve within a week or so, doctors may recommend other treatment options. These may include:
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can recommend stretches and exercises that can help reduce pain and make the plantar fascia less likely to tear.
- Night splints: The splints help stretch the calves and arches while the person sleeps. This prevents the plantar fascia from cramping and helps keep it flexible at night.
- Orthotics: The doctor may recommend off-the-shelf arch support or may even write a prescription for them. The arch supports allow the plantar fascia to rest while still supporting the arches.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS Prognosis
Most people who have plantar fasciitis struggle with it throughout their lives. Treatments can help tremendously, but the pain can return. Some people also only experience it once or twice in their lives and have mild symptoms. In some cases, the condition can become more severe and require different treatments. Some people also have back and hip pain as a result of the condition. It is important to experiment with different treatment options to find the one that works best.