Plantar fasciitis is a disorder that affects the connective tissue in the arch of your feet and causes pain in your heel and along the bottom of your foot. Most individuals afflicted with this condition experience their most severe pain after awakening in the morning and taking their first steps of the days. Plantar fasciitis treatment may include rest, pain relief treatments, wearing a night splint and stretching exercises.
Although the fundamental cause of plantar fasciitis is far from clear in many cases, the proximate cause is known. It is due to the appearance of small tears in the plantar fascia that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects the toes to the heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis can be either a chronic or acute injury. One situation that causes acute cases is landing awkwardly after jumping and causing trauma to the plantar fascia. Chronic cases develop over time instead of coming on suddenly. Risk factors for chronic cases include standing for long periods at a time (as required in certain jobs), having flat feet (fallen arches) and being overweight. Age is also a factor, as most cases tend to appear between the ages of 40 and m60.
Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis
The main symptom is pain along the bottom of the foot. This is usually the most severe when taking the first steps of the day.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis usually includes:
Stretching or strengthening exercises. These are intended to strengthen your foot muscles and improve the flexibility of calf muscles;
Use of ice or anti inflammatory medications;
Wearing a night splint when sleeping to keep the plantar fascia properly stretched out. This will reduce the pain you experience in the morning;
Potentially changing your footwear, if fallen arches is a contributing factor;
In severe cases, more invasive approaches such as cortisone injections or surgical intervention.
For more discussion of potential treatments for plantar fasciitis, please read this post.