What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissues that runs from your heel bone along the bottom of the foot to your toes. The plantar fascia also helps support the arch of your foot. Small tears in the tissue can happen from overuse, sports or repetitive stretching.
Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:
- Age (ages 40-60 are most at risk)
- Activities that stress the heel, including running, ballet and dancing
- Flat feet or unusual stride
- Jobs that require a lot of walking or standing throughout the day
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain – Sharp pain may be felt at the bottom of the foot, most often near the heel.
- Increased pain with activity – Pain may be at its worst during the first few steps after sitting, when standing or after exercise.
Plantar fasciitis treatment usually includes a conservative, non-surgical approach. Your orthopedic or sports medicine provider will work closely with you to create a plan that helps relieve your pain and help your injury heal. Treatment options include:
- Rest – Taking a break from sports or activities that trigger pain can help the plantar fascia heal.
- Ice – Icing the injury can help control inflammation to reduce pain and promote healing.
- Medication – Anti-inflammatories can help manage symptoms while your body recovers from the injury.
- Physical therapy – A physical therapist can guide you through exercises to help stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, and strengthen calf muscles.
- Night splints – Overnight splints can help stretch the calf and arch of the foot.
- Orthotics – Store-bought or custom-fit orthotics can help support your arch to decrease symptoms and manage long term.
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