Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, 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, women who are pregnant and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
Diagnosing plantar fasciitis
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is usually made by clinical examination alone. The clinical examination may include checking the patient’s feet and watching the patient stand and walk. The clinical examination will take under consideration a patient’s medical history, physical activity, foot pain symptoms and more.
Treating plantar fasciitis
Your health care provider will usually first recommend:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce pain and inflammation
- Heel and foot stretching exercises
- Night splints ( http://footpaincenter.com/Royce-Medical-Night-Splint) to wear while sleeping to stretch the foot
- Resting as much as possible for at least a week
- Wearing shoes with good support and cushions. Some recommendations for heel cushions include:http://footpaincenter.com/Aetrex-Gel-Heel-Cradles and http://footpaincenter.com/Heel-Spur-gel-with-removable-plug
Other steps to relieve pain include:
- Apply ice to the painful area. Do this at least twice a day for 10 – 15 minutes, more often in the first couple of days.
- Try wearing a heel cup, felt pads in the heel area, or shoe inserts.
- Use night splints to stretch the injured fascia and allow it to heal.
Do heel spurs cause heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is often confused with heel spurs. People do not suffer from heel spurs because heel spurs do not cause pain. Spurs develop in response to a painful situation in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. Heel spurs are not really spurs at all. When seen head on, they are ridges, although they may look like spurs in a two-dimensional X-ray. Regardless of their appearance their development can be explained by a simple theory of kinesiology. Bone conforms to the stress under which it has been placed.