What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated/inflamed, your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if your feet roll inward too much when you walk, you have high arches or flat feet, you walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces, you are overweight, you wear shoes that don't fit well or are worn out or you have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
Who is affected?
Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.
What are the symptoms?
Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.
What is Plantar Fasciitis Treatment?
No single treatment works best for everyone with plantar fasciitis. But there are many things you can try to help your foot get better:
- To reduce pain and swelling, ice your heel and give your feet a rest.
- Wear shoes with arch support and cushioned sole, a custom orthotic may help.
- Reduce activities that make your foot hurt. Don’t walk or run on hard surfaces.
- Calf and toe stretch several times a day are a good part of any treatment plan.
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers, taken orally, like ibuprofen will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs can have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding ulcers. They should be used only occasionally unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
- Topical anti-inflammatory creams made with natural ingredients designed specifically for feet and legs (e.g. Zax’s Original Heel Spur Cream) target the affected areas and provides effective and safe relief right to the affected areas.
- Injections of steroid medications in your heel(s) are also possible.
- Doctors only suggest surgery for those who still suffer after trying other treatments for 6 to 12 months.
- Plantar fasciitis most often occurs because of injuries that have happened over time. With treatment, you will have less pain within a few weeks. But it may take time for the pain to go away completely. It may take a few months to a year.
- Stay with your treatment. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner your feet will stop hurting.