What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is known as the most common cause of heel pain, affecting millions around the world each year. It occurs when the ligament that supports the arch of the foot is strained or even torn, resulting in extreme pain and soreness.
Typically, plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the foot or putting too much constant pressure on the feet. Certain factors or underlying conditions can exacerbate plantar fasciitis. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Too much time walking or standing
- Shoes without proper support or cushioning
- Walking barefoot on hard surfaces
There is only one type of plantar fasciitis.
- Pain and stiffness in the foot, especially in the morning upon waking
- Sharp pain in the heel
- Pain in the heel or sole of the foot with standing or walking
- Pain that radiates up the calf
- Swelling and inflammation in the heel and sole of the foot
Plantar fasciitis can typically be diagnosed by your primary care physician. They will look at your medical history and consider your reported symptoms. They will perform a physical exam of your feet to check for swelling and inflammation. They may also order x-ray imaging of the foot to rule out any other causes of foot and heel pain.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis is usually conservative and revolves around lifestyle changes. Your doctor may recommend spending less time on your feet, if possible. They will require you to get orthopedic shoes with extra cushioning for support. They may also recommend you wear compression socks, which can help with inflammation and swelling. They may also prescribe pain medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to control the pain of plantar fasciitis. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to release the lateral plantar nerve, which can resolve the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.