Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, located at the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. It acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch of the foot.

Individuals usually experience stabbing pain that usually occurs in the first steps in the morning. The pain eases off once the foot limbers up, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.

What causes it?

If tension on plantar fascia (bowstring) becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. The most common risk factors that cause Plantar Fasciitis are:

  • Age: plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Certain types of exercise: activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and dance aerobics — can contribute to an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis.
  • Faulty foot mechanics: being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can adversely affect the way weight is distributed when you’re standing and put added stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Obesity: excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia. In additon there are theories that obesity causes inflammation.
  • Occupations that keep you on your feet: factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can irritate their plantar fascia.

Symptoms

  • stabbing pain on heel and/or sole of the foot
  • pain that is worse in the mornings and eases off with movement
  • pain when standing after periods of inactivity

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