Plantar Fasciitis is typically referred to or known as arch pain, heel pain or heel spur syndrome. It is one of the most common and easily treated foot problems.
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition within the foot which causes stabbing, burning pain in the heel area. Typically, people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis feel the most pain early in the morning, or after any activity that involves running or jogging.
The pain that is felt with plantar fasciitis is due to swelling of a tissue which connects the heel bone to the toes. This tissue, which is called the plantar fascia, is found on the bottom of your foot. This strip of tissue helps support the longitudinal arch of the foot. The plantar fascia tissue tightens up, causing pain when a person stands up and mobilizes. This usually happens overnight, or during periods of inactivity such as time spent at a desk job, This pain is generally reduced as the person moves around.
Plantar Fasciitis pain usually occurs as soon as weight is applied to the feet after getting out of bed, usually first thing in the morning and starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone. It is more likely to flare up after exercise.
If you are a runner you are also at risk if you walk or run for exercise. If you have very flat feet or very high arches, you are also more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Signs of Plantar Fasciitis
- A small amount of swelling in the heel.
- Plantar fasciitis can occur in both feet at the same time, but generally occurs only in one foot.
- Sharp pains in middle of bottom of heel. The pain will feel like stabbing.
- Pain is felt after exercise, but rarely during exercise, unless bottom of foot is being stretched.
- Worst pain is felt when stepping after lengthy immobility, including after sleep, as well as when stretching the bottom of the foot by tip-toeing or climbing.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The pain and inflammation experienced with plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive tearing of the plantar fascia tissue. Some things which can cause or contribute to this tearing include:
- Weight gain
- Wearing shoes without the proper support.
- Walking incorrectly or having an abnormally shaped foot.
- Overdoing physical activities, particularly running and climbing.
- Chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes have been shown to increase risks of plantar fasciitis.
Some people are more at risk than others for developing plantar fasciitis. As mentioned above, those with diabetes and arthritis are at risk. Athletes, people who are flat-footed, people who are overweight, and pregnant women are all at higher risk than others. Your job also contributes to your risk factor. If you are a cashier or waitress, for example, who is on her feet almost her entire shift, you can be more at risk for plantar fasciitis.
Medical Care for Plantar Fasciitis
If you experience any of the signs listed above for plantar fasciitis you should seek corrective action as plantar fasciitis can become more severe as time goes buy. Conditions which cause poor circulation can be very dangerous to your feet, and issues with the feet can be severely complicated by these conditions.
If you believe that you may have plantar fasciitis, you should not ignore the condition and hope it will go away. Even though plantar fasciitis in itself is not generally a very serious condition, if left untreated, it can develop into problems with mobility and issues with other parts of the body.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Treatments for this condition range from minimal home therapy to surgical procedures. Some of the most common treatment recommendations for plantar fasciitis include:
- 1. Supports inside your shoe to provide better pressure distribution. See our Custom Orthotics
- 2. Physical therapy and morning stretches if Heel Seats and Night Splints are not eliminating all of the pain.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Although plantar fasciitis is not a life-threatening condition, it can be annoying and troublesome, particularly if it causes you to restrict your level of motion. Therefore, you will want to take preventative measures to keep this condition from developing. Some preventative measures include:
1. Stretching legs, ankles, and feet prior to stepping out of bed in the morning.
2. Wear shoes which provide proper support, and try not to wear high heels.
3. If participating in sports, always warm up.
4. Keep in shape and at a healthy weight.
Our Custom Orthotics Recommendation
Any one of our custom orthotics ordered can be modified for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spur Syndrome.
Questions about these or our other Custom Orthotics, please call our experts helpline 24/7 at 800-852-4056