Plantar Fasciitis

Millions of men and women suffer from the debilitating effects of heel pain. The most common source of this pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is common in runners and anyone who is on their feet for long periods of time. People who are overweight, women who are pregnant, and those who wear shoes that lack arch support are also at risk for developing plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis, commonly referred to as a "heel spur", is a common cause of heel pain and affects about 2.5 million people each year in the U.S. 

The plantar fascia ligament is like a rubber band that stretches and contracts with movement. It absorbs both weight and pressure. 

Repeated strain from various types of activity can cause small tears in the ligament, which produces sharp pain in the heel. Your body may react by filling this space with new bone - a heel spur. Most people think that heel spurs are the cause of their foot pain, but the pain is actually caused by the inflammation or irritation of your plantar fascia muscle.

Causes of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis affects all age groups and is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot. It's also a common sports injury among runners, walkers, and athletes. 

Factors that may increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:

  • Age (plantar fasciitis is more common in people age 40-60)
  • Arthritis
  • Excessive pronation (inward roll of your feet when you walk)
  • Foot problems (flat feet or high arches place added stress on the plantar fascia)
  • Improper shoes (worn out or no arch support)
  • Obesity or significant weight gain
  • Jobs that require long periods of standing or walking
  • Running

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

Plantar fasciitis can produce a stabbing or throbbing pain in the heel. The pain is usually sharpest in the morning and tends to fade to a dull ache over the course of the day. Pain will often reappear following physical activity or with movement after a long period of sitting down.

Plantar fasciitis can affect one or both feet.

Treatment of plantar fasciitis

No single treatment will work for everyone, but most people who develop plantar fasciitis can reduce their heel pain in just a few months with proper home care. Conservative treatment is successful in 90 percent of cases.

Initial treatment may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Orthotic inserts.
  • Physical therapy and stretching.
  • Resting and icing your foot.

If pain persists, you should consult your doctor. If conservative treatment is unsuccessful, Shockwave Therapy may be an effective alternative to medication or surgery. Shockwave Therapy is designed to reduce pain and inflammation for Plantar Fasciitis and tendonitis.