Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus) is one of the most common types of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis name comes from the irritation or straining of your “plantar fascia” which is the flat band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes. Common results of a strain to your plantar fascia is pain on the bottom of your foot or the arch of your foot when walking or standing. This pain is the result of a strained or swollen plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis is very common in middle aged adults or in athletes or young people on their feet long stretches of time. This strain can effect one or both feet. As with all health conditions, it is best to contact your doctor for a complete diagnosis of your foot pain.
The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is the result of tiny tears in the supporting ligaments of your arch. The longer you are on your feet the more acute the pain can become. Other conditions that can make this pain worse include; walking or standing for long periods of time, wearing shoes that do not fit well, walking if you are overweight, not stretching your achilles or calf muscle prior to exercise.
Most symptoms occur after adults sit or lay for an extended period of time and their first few steps will have noticeable pain in the arch or heel area of their foot, which may reduce as walking increases. With other people, the pain may increase as the day progresses. Climbing stairs may prove to be especially painful as the ligaments are getting the most use during this time.
If you have continual foot pain at night while in bed you may have a different problem, including arthritis or other nerve issues. Contact your doctor if your foot pains continues.
Your doctor will ask you questions relating to your stretching and exercise routines including any past sports or foot injuries you may have suffered. You will then have a evaluation of where the pain is and what times of day are the worst and least for the pain. Your visit may include an x-ray to rule out stress fractures of your foot.
There is not single treatment that works best for all suffers of Plantar Fasciitis. Closely follow the advice of your doctor. Icing your fascia under your foot may prove helpful.
Some common stretching exercises that have proven helpful to some people include standing with your foot over the edge of a step with your other foot flat on the top surface (see picture), push your heel of the foot hanging over the edge toward to ground stretching your calf and achilles as you push down toward the ground. As with all exercises, check with your doctor prior to any stretching or exercise.
Some people have also found rolling a tennis ball under your foot helps to massage the ligaments and provide some relief. It may take quit some time for Plantar Fasciitis pain to stop. It may take a few weeks to months of consistent stretching/treatment.
If your pain continues or worsens, consult your doctor.