Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that causes severe pain in the bottom of the feet. Plantar fasciitis is especially painful in the morning when taking the first steps of the day.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by repetitive strain injury to the ligament of the sole of the foot. Such strain injury can be from excessive running or walking, inadequate footgear, and jumping injury from landing.
The pain is usually at the heel, but it can be anywhere along the “plantar fascia”, a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the heel of the foot to the toes. Damage to the plantar fascia in the form of microscopic tears leads to the pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis.
Running isn’t the only cause of plantar fasciitis. Other conditions and activities can increase the risk of developing it. These include:
- Having flat feet, a high arch or a tight Achilles tendon
- Placing too much weight on the feet due to obesity
- Long periods of standing, particularly on a hard surface
- Ill-fitting or poorly made shoes
- Walking abnormally
- Participating in sports, such as ballet, puts a lot of pressure and stress on the feet
Treatment of plantar fasciitis usually involves:
- Stretching the calf muscles
- Using ice to reduce inflammation
- Wearing good shoes and/or orthotic inserts
Sometimes patients need to switch to a different sport in order to recover from plantar fasciitis.
How long does plantar fasciitis last?
The tissue that the condition affects is under the arch of the foot but can cause a stabbing pain in the heel. Plantar fasciitis usually resolves within 6 to 18 months without treatment. With 6 months of consistent, nonoperative treatment, people with plantar fasciitis will recover 97 percent of the time.
How can I treat plantar fasciitis at home?
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose supportive shoes.
- Don’t wear worn-out athletic shoes.
- Change your sport.
- Apply ice.
- Stretch your arches.