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Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss) is an inflammation of the fascia ligament in your foot. The plantar fascia ligament is located at the bottom of your foot. It is attached to the heal and extends to the ball of the foot.

Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the long, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot stretches irregularly. When the ligament stretches irregularly, it develops small tears. The small tears cause the ligament to become inflamed. People with plantar fasciitis describe the pain as being dull, aching, or sharp. The pain can be reproduced by flexing the toes upwards and tensing the fascia ligament.

Plantar Fasciitis is common in runners and other athletes, and people who have jobs that require a large amount of walking or standing.

People with plantar fasciitis often have tight Achilles tendons and calf muscles. Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is intense pain located in the center or the inner side of the bottom of the heel. The pain is most intense when first standing and after resting. The pain is most severe when first standing and after resting because the foot tries to heal itself when it is in a contracted position.

Some other symptoms are tight foot and swelling.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is most often caused by abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia ligament. There are many causes of abnormal stretching. Some of the most common causes are:

  • the foot rolling inward
  • lack of flexibility in the calf muscles
  • no arch support in the shoe
  • being overweight
    • Extra weight cause the arches of the foot to sag. Sagging arches causes the plantar fascia to be overly stretched.
  • having flat feet
    • Flat feet is a condition where the inner sole of the foot contacts the ground. Flat feet causes plantar fasciitis by overly stretching the plantar fasciia.
  • Having highly arched feet
  • spending too much time standing
  • sudden foot injury

Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis can be treated. However, the longer you wait to treat it, the more difficult it is to treat. Treatment involves correcting the underlying causative problems. Some of the most common treatments are

  • realignment of the foot
  • wearing better fitting shoes
  • decreasing the amount of time the person is standing or walking
  • losing weight
  • rest
  • medication (to reduce swelling and pain)
  • stretching the calf
  • foot taping
  • cortisone injections
  • night splints

It takes between 6 to 12 months to heal. However, most people recover in about 6 months.

Can Plantar Fasciitis be Prevented?

Yes. Run on soft surfaces, don't increase running by more than 10% each week and maintain a healthy weight. Also, make sure you wear a shoe that fits your foot type and gate.

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