If you are experiencing frequent heel pain, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This foot condition occurs when a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia is overstretched and causes small tears and inflammation. This causes intense heel pain along the bottom of the foot often after first waking in the morning.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The following are activities or conditions that may cause plantar fasciitis:
- Improper walking, such as excessive rolling of the foot or twisting.
- High arches, flat feet and tight calf muscles or tendons at the back of the heel.
- Prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces.
- Playing sports that require running.
- Being overweight or wearing shoes with poor cushion, that don’t fit well or are worn out.
- As a natural part of aging.
- A single foot injury, although this is rare.
Over time, stress on the heel’s tendons can also cause heel spurs, which are abnormal growths of the bone that occur where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly seen in middle-aged adults. Surgery is rarely needed to fix plantar fasciitis.
Addressing Plantar Fasciitis
Our specialists can use a variety of non-surgical options to treat this condition that includes:
- Limit or stop activities that cause heel pain such as walking on hard surfaces.
- Reduce inflammation by applying ice to your heel or using anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Wear well-cushioned, shock-absorbent shoes or add heel inserts for extra cushion.
- Put on your shoes as soon as you get out of bed to avoid walking barefoot.
- Do exercises such as calf stretches several times a day.
Other non-surgical options include custom-made shoe inserts, night splints and walking casts. If your condition worsens, consult one of our doctors about the best option for your condition.