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Plantar Fasciitis

Definition:

Plantar fasciitis is a strain of the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This band, the plantar fascia, can become weak, swollen and irritated, causing heel pain when you stand or walk.

Causes:

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by activity or physical conditions:

  • Over pronation (feet rolling inward too much when you walk)
  • Walking, standing or running for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces
  • Wearing shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out
  • Physical conditions, including high arches or flat feet, tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles, or stress on the feet from being overweight
Symptoms:

Plantar fasciitis pain and stiffness often occurs after inactivity, particularly upon waking in the morning. Pain and stiffness may lessen with initial activity but may increase as activity continues. Your feet may hurt most when climbing stairs or after standing for an extended time.

Treatment:
  • Stop or reduce activities that cause foot pain. Avoid walking or running on hard surfaces.
  • Ice your heel and take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Stretch several times a day, including toes and calf muscles
  • Wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole or try heel cups or shoe inserts.

If these measures don’t help, your physician may inject steroids into your heel or prescribe night splints or physical therapy.

Learn about common causes of foot and ankle pain and how physical therapy treatment can help.
IRG Pain Guide