Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis

Foot

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the sole of the foot. It is caused by inflammation and degeneration of the connective tissue in the heel, known as the plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia runs from your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. When you put pressure on your feet, this tissue stretches and contracts as you walk, run and stand.

If it becomes irritated or inflamed, plantar fasciitis can result in heel pain while walking or standing.

What are the types of Plantar Fasciitis?

There are three types of plantar fasciitis.

The first type is called chronic plantar fasciitis, which means the inflammation has been present for at least a year. This type of plantar fasciitis can be more difficult to treat because it may involve scar tissue or bone spurs that are causing pain.

The second type is called acute plantar fasciitis, which means that the inflammation has not been present for more than three months. This type is usually caused by an injury to the foot and can be treated more quickly than chronic plantar fasciitis.

The third type is called subacute plantar fasciitis, which means the inflammation has been present for less than three months but more than one week. Treatment for this type will depend on how soon you start treatment after you notice symptoms of pain in your foot while walking or standing up from sitting down.

What are the causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by repeated stress to the foot, such as from standing on hard surfaces or wearing shoes that do not support your arch or have poor shock absorption.

Other causes include:

  • Excessive weight gain or loss
  • Joint disorders such as arthritis or gout
  • Walking barefoot on hard surfaces or in shoes without proper arch support

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain in the heel. The pain is usually worse at the start of the day, when you first stand up after being seated for a long time (such as after a long flight).
  • Pain that gets worse when you walk or run. The pain also will be worse after doing these activities.
  • Tenderness at the bottom of your foot near the heel.
  • A feeling of stiffness in your heel during the early morning hours when you first get out of bed and stand up to put on your shoes.

What are the risk factors for Plantar Fasciitis?

There are many risk factors that may contribute to Plantar Fasciitis. Risk factors include:

Age – people over 40 years old are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis than younger people

Sex – men are more likely than women to have Plantar Fasciitis

Obesity – obesity is a major risk factor for developing Plantar Fasciitis

Foot type – those with flat feet are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis than those with normal arches

Excess weight gain or loss – gaining or losing weight can increase your risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis

Recommended Exercise

Foot

What are the exercises for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that occurs when the plantar fascia, the ligament on the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed.

You can reduce your symptoms with these exercises:

Heel raises

Place your toes on a step, then raise up onto your tiptoes and back down. Repeat 10 times.

Foot flexion

Stand facing away from the wall and place one foot forward and one foot back, keeping both heels touching the wall at all times. Now bend your knees slightly and push back against the wall until you feel a stretch in your Achilles tendon. Hold it for 30 seconds, then repeat five more times with each leg.

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches

Stretching your calves is one of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis. There are several different calf stretches you can do to help with this condition. Each stretch targets a different part of your calf muscle.

Standing Calf Stretch

This is an easy stretch that you can do anywhere. To perform it, stand up straight with your hands on your hips and one foot in front of the other. Bend forward at the waist so that your back is parallel with the floor and the back of your head touches or almost touches the wall behind you. Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching feet and repeating on other side.

What are the treatments for Plantar Fasciitis?

There are several treatments for plantar fasciitis.

Treatment can vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and your age, but many of the same strategies are used to help manage the pain and reduce inflammation.

  • The most common treatment options include:
  • Resting your feet and keeping them elevated when possible
  • Using ice packs for 15-20 minutes a few times per day
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Wearing shoes that have good support, especially during exercise
  • Wearing custom orthotics that fit your foot well and provide arch support

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Back

What brace is used for Plantar Fasciitis?

Ankle braces can help support and stabilize your ankle, which can help reduce pain in the long run. You might want to consider an ankle compression brace, which provides compression (pressure) at the point where your Achilles tendon meets your heel bone. This helps to relieve pressure on that area.

An ankle brace can be worn during your day-to-day activities or when exercising. However, it’s important that you wear comfortable shoes and socks with them so they don’t rub against your skin or cause blisters.

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