Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed or irritated. The plantar fascia plays an important role in supporting the arch of the foot and absorbing shock during walking, running, and other weight-bearing activities.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, especially in runners, athletes, and people who spend a lot of time on their feet. The condition typically develops gradually and can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, poor foot mechanics, wearing shoes with inadequate support, and being overweight.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may include pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially upon waking up or after prolonged periods of standing or walking, stiffness and tenderness in the foot, and aching or burning sensation in the sole of the foot.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically involves rest, ice, stretching, and other conservative measures. In more severe cases, medical interventions may be necessary.
Common treatment options for plantar fasciitis include:
Rest and ice: Resting the affected foot and applying ice can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Stretching: Stretching exercises can help loosen up the plantar fascia and other muscles in the foot and ankle, reducing the risk of further injury.
Footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help relieve pressure on the plantar fascia and improve foot mechanics.
Orthotics: Custom-made shoe inserts or orthotics can help correct foot mechanics and provide additional support and cushioning.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, reducing the risk of further injury and improving overall foot mechanics.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Injections: Corticosteroid injections may be used in severe cases to reduce inflammation and pain.