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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing pain, irritation, inflammation and swelling along the plantar fascia ligament in the bottom of the foot and the heel. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing pain, irritation, inflammation and swelling along the plantar fascia ligament in the bottom of the foot and the heel. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused by an inflammation or tightness of the plantar fascia, a thick ligament located along the bottom of the foot. Some factors that can increase the likelihood of suffering from the condition include having a tight Achilles tendon, being flatfooted or having very high arches, and being overweight or gaining weight suddenly. Those who engage in excessive running or walking may be more likely to develop the condition.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain that is felt along the bottom of the foot, especially in the heel. The pain is typically the most intense upon waking in the morning and may improve throughout the day, eventually turning into a dull ache. Heel pain is often exacerbated following long periods of walking or running. In addition to pain, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and redness may be evident in the bottom of the foot.

How is Plantar Fasciitis diagnosed?

A medical professional will take a complete medical history and will ask questions related to when the symptoms began, what types of activities or movements increase or decrease symptoms, and what the relative severity of the symptoms is. A physical exam will include checking for pain, swelling, tenderness and redness along the bottom of the foot, and in most cases a diagnosis can be made based on a description of symptoms and a manual examination. X-rays may be ordered to see if the symptoms are being caused by a heel spur or other bone related problem.

When should I seek care for Plantar Fasciitis?

If you have pain and inflammation along the bottom of the foot or in the heel that does not improve following a brief period of rest, application of ice and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, you should seek medical advice. If the pain appears suddenly, becomes severe, or inhibits your ability to walk or perform regular activities, you should seek immediate medical attention.

What will the treatment for Plantar Fasciitis consist of?

Conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis include performing heel stretching exercises, icing the inflamed area, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Night splints and shoe inserts or orthotics may be recommended to ease stress on the ligament. Physical therapy is sometimes recommended and includes stretching, flexibility and strengthening exercises. Corticosteroid injections will alleviate pain and inflammation but are very painful when administered. If initial treatments are unsuccessful, a short cast or walking boot is usually successful in alleviating pain and inflammation. Conservative treatments are almost always successful in reducing symptoms, but may take several months or even one to two years to be effective. In the rare cases that treatment does not produce a reduction in symptoms, surgery may be recommended to release the tight or inflamed ligament, providing relief.

Which muscle groups/joints are commonly affected by Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis results from inflammation or tightness of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Pain is typically felt in the bottom of the foot and the heel.

What type of results should I expect from the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis?

Conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis will almost always improve symptoms but may take a number of months, or even one to two years, to fully be effective. In the rare situations where surgery is recommended, the procedures are often successful in alleviating the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.