What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain in adults.Pain is typically worse after long periods of rest, such as when you first wake in the morning. When you walk around for a bit, the pain usually goes away. However, you may also experience heel pain after long periods on your feet.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is sharp pain near the heel of your foot. Typically, this pain is more intense when you first put weight on your foot in the morning or after sitting for long periods. When you walk around for a bit, the pain usually dissipates.
Although you may experience heel pain during exercise, it’s actually more common afterward.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that supports your arch, connecting the heel bone and toes. It sometimes occurs due to overuse and is fairly common in runners. However, it’s also common in people whose footwear provides inadequate support and those who are overweight.
Risk of developing plantar fasciitis is greater for people who:
Conservative Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Conservative treatment (i.e. non-surgical) works well for around 95 percent of plantar fasciitis patients. Options include:
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?
If your podiatrist suspects you have plantar fasciitis, he or she begins by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam. They should ask you to describe when your heel pain began as well as when it’s worse. In addition, expect to demonstrate where the pain occurs.
In some situations, your podiatrist may order diagnostic exams, particularly X-ray and MRI. If your doctor orders these tests, he or she is probably trying to rule out other causes of your pain, such as a stress fracture.
Surgery and Other Procedures to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Most podiatrists pursue conservative treatment options for at least 6 to 12 months before considering surgery. Plantar fascia surgery is relatively rare and typically only ordered when pain is severe and conservative treatment provides no relief.
Other alternative treatment options include:
Again, these options – particularly surgery – are reserved for when your plantar fasciitis just isn’t responding to conservative treatments.
Tricks to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain at Home
In addition to the conservative treatment options listed above, the following help relieve the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis: