Plantar Fasciitis: Pain In The Heel Of Your Foot

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the ligament, which causes pain in the heel of the foot. Find out more about plantar fasciitis treatments.

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.

Pain in the heel of your foot can be traced back to Plantar Fasciitis

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

Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

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 worsen 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 plantar fasciitis exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist
  • Follow the advice given by your doctor or physiotherapist

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