Plantar Fasciitis: The Most Common Cause of Heel Pain
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting your heel to the base of your toes along the bottoms of your feet, becomes inflamed and painful. It usually causes stabbing pain in the foot, most often when you first get up in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is a very common cause of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis is also referred to as plantar fasciopathy or jogger’s heel. Some people are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than others.
Contributing Factors to Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a combination of factors in athletic and non-athletic people alike. Some causes associated with plantar fasciitis include:
- Excessive running
- High arches
- Standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time
- Flat feet
- Leg length inequality
- Weight gain in non-athletic individuals
- Inappropriate footwear
Who is Most Likely to Develop Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is most common in the following people:
- Military recruits
- Older athletes
- Young male athletes
- The obese
Most commonly, plantar fasciitis affects people between 40-60 years of age. It affects about 10% of people at some point in their lives.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Most people with plantar fasciitis recover within several months with conservative treatment. However, in more severe cases, other treatments may be used to heal the plantar fascia and get you back on your feet.
Some common treatments include medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help with pain and inflammation. Certain therapies are also used, such as orthotics, physical therapy, or night splints. If these don’t work, some more invasive procedures may be used. These can include steroid shots, surgery, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
Home Treatment Options
There are several things you can do to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis from the comfort of your own home. Preventative measures include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Stretching your arches
- Wearing supportive shoes
- Replacing worn-out athletic shoes
If you already have plantar fasciitis and feel that it’s mild enough to heal on its own, you can try a couple of different things at home.
- Apply ice. You can ice your feet three or four times a day for about 15-20 minutes at a time to help ease the pain. Ice massage works for this, too; freeze a paper cup filled with water and roll over the affected area for five to seven minutes.
- Change sports. If you have plantar fasciitis and run or jog, it might be time to start doing something different like bicycling or swimming.
If you have persistent plantar fasciitis or home treatments aren’t working, there could be something else going on such as a fracture, several types of arthritis, rupture of the plantar fascia, and several other conditions.
Come see us at Milwaukee Foot & Ankle Specialists! We can help you get to the bottom of your heel pain. Same day appointments are available!
Just call 414-439-2279.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.