I don’t know if you know what that is, so I’m going to explain it to you today.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel, or as most people would say, pain in the foot. The plantar fascia is a thin, web-like ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. So simply put, you have pain in a ligament in your foot. This ligament supports the arch of your foot and helps you walk.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common complaints people have when you’re talking about foot pain. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life, especially if you’re on your feet a lot at work. Normally, these ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the arch of the foot, but here’s what happens a lot of the time.
You have too much pressure on your feet and this pressure can damage or tear the ligaments we’re talking about. The plantar fascia ligament then becomes inflamed, and the inflammation (which is always bad no matter where it’s located) causes you to have heel pain and stiffness.
So What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Great question. The major complaint of those people with plantar fasciitis is pain and stiffness in the bottom of their heel, although some people experience pain at the bottom mid-foot area.
This pain develops gradually over time. You probably don’t go to bed and then just wake up with it.
It usually affects just one foot, but it can affect both feet.
Some people describe the pain as dull, while others experience a sharp pain, and some feel a burning or ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel.
At the office we’ve found that the pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed, or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while. Climbing stairs can be very difficult for you… due to heel stiffness.
After prolonged activity, the pain can flare up due to increased inflammation. Pain isn’t usually felt during the activity but rather just after stopping.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Here’s something to think about. You’re at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you’re overweight or obese. Why? This is due to the increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments, especially if you have sudden weight gain.
Women who are pregnant often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy.
But get this. If you’re a long-distance runner, you’re most likely not overweight, but you may be more likely to develop plantar fascia problems. You’re also at risk if you have a very active job that involves being on your feet often, such as a factory worker or a restaurant server.
Active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 are at the highest risk for developing plantar fasciitis. It’s also slightly more common in women than men.
If you have foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet, you may develop plantar fasciitis. Tight achilles tendons, which are the tendons attaching your calf muscles to your heels, may also result in plantar fascia pain. Simply wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support can also result in plantar fasciitis. Be careful what kind of shoes you wear. They do make a difference.
Here’s where you can get heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis isn’t typically the result of heel spurs. A heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone, or calcaneus, of the foot. One out of every 10 people has a heel spur, but only one out of 20 people with heel spurs experience pain. Want help? CALL my office now!