Plantar Fasciitis—A Real Pain in the Foot

plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a thick band of connective tissue called the plantar fascia and causes pain in the bottom of your heel.  This band runs along the sole from the bottom of the heel bone to the toes, supports the arch in your foot and is important in helping you walk.

Your plantar fascia ligaments can experience a lot of wear and tear just from your daily life.  These ligaments act as shock absorbers which help to support the arch of the foot.  If there is too much pressure on your feet, it may damage or tear the ligaments.  The plantar fascia becomes inflamed and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.

Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you:

  • Have problems with your foot arches—flat feet and high arches
  • Gain weight suddenly or are obese
  • Have a tight Achilles tendon
  • Wear shoes with poor arch support or soft soles
  • Are a runner—especially if you run downhill or on uneven surfaces

What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The most common complaint of those with plantar fasciitis is the pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel.  Other common symptoms of plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Heel pain that is dull or sharp
  • The bottom of the foot may ache or burn
  • Pain is usually worse in the morning, when standing or sitting, when climbing stairs or after an intense activity
  • The pain may develop slowly over time

Are There Treatments Available for Plantar Fasciitis?

Most people will not need surgery to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, but treatment may last from months to years before symptoms improve.  Treatment options may include:

  • Staying off your feet
  • Applying ice for 15-20 minutes throughout the day to reduce swelling
  • Stretching exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Braces and supports
  • Custom orthotics and arch supports

You don’t have to live with plantar fasciitis pain anymore.  Set an appointment with Desert Hand Therapy to discuss and find your treatment options today.  Our physical therapy treatment programs are designed specifically for you to help you return to the activities you love.