OrthoNeuro Blog

8 Jun

Oh My Aching Feet! Plantar fasciitis may be the problem.

by Heather Benjamin

bigstock-Plantar-Fasciitis-94713881.jpgPlantar fasciitis is a foot condition that most commonly causes heel pain. It is inflammation and pain of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, called the plantar fascia.  This condition causes stabbing pain that generally occurs in the first few steps in the morning.  Pain usually decreases as your foot becomes more limber through the day, but may return after long periods of standing or sitting. It is commonly seen in runners, those who are overweight, pregnant, and those who wear shoes lacking proper support.

Symptoms:

  • Stiffness and pain in the morning or after resting that gets better after a few steps but gets worse as the day progresses.
  • Pain that gets worse when you climb stairs or stand on your toes.
  • Foot pain after you stand for long periods.
  • Pain at the beginning of exercise that gets better or goes away as exercise continues but returns when exercise is completed.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis:

The plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorber supporting the arch in the foot. When there is too much tension, it can cause small tears in the fascia. Over time, the fascia becomes irritated and inflamed due to stretching and tearing. 

Factors that may contribute:

  • Tight Achilles Tendon
  • Tight Calf Muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • You are Overweight
  • Leg Length Discrepancy
  • Improper Shoe Wear
  • You have high arches or flat feet

Plantar fasciitis may be mistaken for other conditions with similar symptoms, such as arthritis or a nerve problem such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment:

Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover within a few months with help from anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, physical therapy, night splints, and orthotics. Surgical treatments, although rare, may be indicated.

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