Painful Plantar Fascia Inflammation
Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is common in athletes, especially runners. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue along the bottom of your foot which connects the heel bone to the toes. When healthy it acts as a shock absorber for the foot’s natural arch. The stress of jumping and running can cause small tears in the plantar fascia that result in inflammation and pain. Other risk factors include:
- Being between the ages of 40-60 years old
- Being overweight
- Having flat feet or unusually high arches
- Wearing shoes with bad support
Plantar fasciitis symptoms
Sharp pain at the bottom of the foot, toward the heel, is usually the main symptom of plantar fasciitis. You may also have tenderness throughout the bottom of the foot. It’s usually most painful when you take the first few steps in the morning, and after long periods of standing or sitting.
Trying to prevent pain by changing the natural way you walk may lead to additional foot, knee, hip or back problems. Our physicians offer a variety of treatments for plantar fasciitis to best ease your pain.
How to treat plantar fasciitis
The foot doctors at Franciscan Health will review your medical history and examine your foot. You may have X-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to make sure your pain is not due to a stress fracture or other condition. Treatments may include:
- Physical therapy
- Icing your heel and elevating your foot
- Pain relievers or anti-inflammatories
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Wearing a custom orthotic or splint
For more extreme cases of plantar fasciitis, you may have treatments such as steroid injections or surgery to separate the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
Recovering from plantar fasciitis
Your recovery time depends on the severity of your injury and which treatments for plantar fasciitis work best for you. Most people typically recover in a few months.