Wellness & Education

Plantar Fasciitis Causes Sharp Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that causes severe pain in the bottom of the feet. It 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 a repetitive strain injury to the plantar fascia, or thick band of connective tissue that runs from the heel of the foot to the toes. The injury causes microscopic tears in the plantar fascia. The pain is usually at the heel, but it can be anywhere along the “plantar fascia”. 

Plantar fasciitis often associated with running but there are other causes. Conditions and activities that can increase the risk of developing it 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 
  • Resting 
  • 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? 

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. In rare cases surgery may be required. 

 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 to a sporting activity that uses different muscle groups. 
  • Apply ice.
  • Stretch your arches.