Approximately 2 million people a year seek treatment for Plantar Fasciitis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain on the bottom of your foot on or near your heel.
This may not seem like a major problem, but just consider how much you rely on your heels throughout the day.
Every time you take a step, get up or down, or even just stand in place you are putting pressure on your heels.
Since plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and takes 6 - 18 months to resolve, it can be a significant source of pain in a person’s life.
While there is not a miracle cure for plantar fasciitis, there are many excellent treatments.
Some therapies even cure 97% of people who utilize them.
The pain occurs most often right after you wake up.
You may also experience it during long periods of standing, when you get up after sitting for a long time, and after exercise.
Usually, activity will help it feel better for a little while, but the pain comes back.
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that connects the heel bone to the front of the foot.
It supports the arch of the foot and absorbs shock when you take a step.
Overuse or injury can cause microtears and inflammation, leading to plantar fasciitis.
Over time, scar tissue forms and the problem becomes a degenerative tissue condition resulting in chronic pain.
It is important to cure plantar fasciitis because chronic heel pain may cause you to change the way you stand and walk.
This often leads to other foot, knee, hip and back problems.
Although some people develop plantar fasciitis without any obvious cause, there are certain factors that make it more likely.
Intense or long-distance running
Any form of exercise that puts a lot of stress on your heel, such as ballet
Flat feet or high arches
A foot position or walking pattern that puts added stress on the plantar fascia
Being in the 40 – 60 age group
Wearing shoes that do not adequately support your foot
Regularly wearing high-heeled shoes
Prolonged standing at work, standing on hard surfaces increases the risk
Previous ankle injury
There are quite a few things that you can try at home to alleviate the pain and help your feet heal.
Rest your feet.
If you stand in one place at work, try to break up the standing with walking or sitting.
Stretch your calves, Achilles tendon, and feet. Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight calf and foot muscles, so try gently stretching your feet and calves a few times a day.
Massage your feet and calves. This also helps loosen them.
Ice for 15 - 20 minutes three or four times a day to reduce pain or inflammation.
Choose supportive shoes with low heels, good arch support, and plenty of cushioning. Replace worn-out shoes.
Shoe inserts can also provide cushion and support.
Avoid going barefoot, especially on hard surfaces.
Instead of walking or jogging, switch to a low-impact sport for a while. Be sure to stretch when you are done exercising.
Maintain a healthy weight.
OTC anti-inflammatory medications may help with pain and inflammation. Check with your doctor and use them sparingly, as there are side effects associated with long-term use.