Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of foot and connects heel bone to your toes gets inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. The pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases after taking few steps, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
Under normal circumstances, plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in foot. If tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
Factors that may increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:
• certain types of exercise.
• faulty foot mechanics.
• occupations that keep you on your feet
Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders regular activities. Change in the way of walking to minimize plantar fasciitis pain, develops foot, knee, hip or back problems.
What to expect from your doctor
• do your symptoms tend to occur at a particular time of day?
• what types of shoes do you usually wear?
• are you a runner, or do you participate in any sports that involve running?
• do you have a physically demanding job?
• have you experienced any injuries to your feet in the past?
• besides your foot, do you feel pain anywhere else?
• what, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
• what, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
During the physical exam, your doctor checks for points of tenderness in your foot. The location of your pain can help determine its cause.
Sometimes an x-ray shows a spur of bone projecting forward from the heel bone. In the past, these bone spurs were often blamed for heel pain and removed surgically. But many people who have bone spurs on their heels have no heel pain.
Stretching and strengthening exercises or use of specialized devices may provide symptom relief. These include:
• physical therapy.
• night splints.
• surgical or other procedures
When more-conservative measures aren't working,
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
• maintain a healthy weight.
• choose supportive shoes.
• don't wear worn-out athletic shoes.
• change your sport.
• apply ice.
• stretch your arches