What is plantar fasciitis?
It is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that 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). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.
Exactly what causes plantar fasciitis is not well understood. But it probably develops as the result of repeated small tears in the plantar fascia
Conditions or activities that may lead to plantar fasciitis include:
• Things that affect how the feet work (biomechanical factors). These include abnormal inward twisting or rolling of the foot (pronation ), high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, or tight tendons at the back of the heel (Achilles tendons).
• Repetitive activities, such as jobs that require prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces or sports such as running.
• Things that put extra stress on the feet, such as being overweight or wearing shoes that are poorly cushioned, don't fit well, or are worn out.
• The natural process of aging. Plantar fasciitis is most common in middle-aged adults
• In rare cases, a single injury to the foot.
• Stiffness and pain in the morning or after resting that gets better after a few steps but gets worse as the day progresses.
• Pain that gets worse when you climb stairs or stand on your toes.
• Pain after you stand for long periods.
• Pain at the beginning of exercise that gets better or goes away as exercise continues but returns when exercise is completed.
Take care of your feet. Wear shoes with good arch support and heel cushioning. If your work requires you to stand on hard surfaces, stand on a thick rubber mat to reduce stress on your feet.
Do exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. This is especially important before sports, but it is helpful for nonathletes as well. Ask your doctor about recommendations for a stretching routine.
• Stay at a healthy weight for your height.
• Establish good exercise habits. Increase your exercise levels gradually, and wear supportive shoes.
• If you run, alternate running with other sports that will not cause heel pain.
• Put on supportive shoes as soon as you get out of bed. Going barefoot or wearing slippers puts stress on your feet.