Foot Condition: Plantar Fasciitis

Does the bottom of your feet hurt when you stand or walk? Find out about the symptoms and treatment for plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes.

plantar fasciitis, ligament, inflammation

What is Plantar Fasciitis? 

Plantar fasciitis refers to an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tough ligament (picture below) connecting the heel bone to the toes, particularly to the base of the toes (ball of the foot) and the first toe. The plantar fascia plays a role in supporting the arch of your foot.   

Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis  

Plantar fasciitis usually develops from long hours of standing or walking, or in the case of active persons, from long-distance running. In rare cases, it can result from accidentally stamping the foot or landing strongly on hard ground. 

Other common causes include:     
Having flat, or overpronated, feet     
Having high-arched and rigid feet 
Being overweight 
Wearing footwear inappropriate for your foot type 

Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

You are most likely to experience plantar fasciitis heel pain: 
Upon taking your first step in the morning 
After exercising, particularly after running, prolonged standing or walking 
Standing up after prolonged sitting 

Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis  

You are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you: 
Have overpronated feet (flat feet) or high-arched feet
Participate in long-distance running, or suddenly increase your running mileage 
Have faulty or inappropriate running shoes 
Stand or walk for long hours at work 
Are overweight 
Have tight calf muscles 

Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

The physiotherapist may provide pain relief with procedures, such as heat, ultrasound or electrical stimulation based on the assessment of your condition. You will still need to perform exercises, such as calf-stretching, and follow the physiotherapist’s advice to get results. 

How Can I Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?  

You can help to reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis by: 
Wearing appropriate and well-fitted footwear for exercise, work or daily activities 
Doing warm-up and stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia 
Increasing intensity and duration of exercise gradually 
Maintaining appropriate weight 

Self-care for Plantar Fasciitis  

Reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack over the heel, especially if heel pains worsens after running or prolonged walking.

Recovery from plantar fasciitis usually takes months. The recovery process is enhanced if you:     
Seek treatment early     
Change your footwear as advised     
Do exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist     
Follow the advice given by your doctor or physiotherapist

Foot Condition: Plantar Fasciitis

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