What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called your plantar fascia, which connects the heel bone to your toes. Patients report sharp pains that tend to happen with the first steps after getting out of bed or after prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
What causes it?
Your plantar fascia is like a bowstring that supports the arch of your foot. With repetitive stretching, this can create tears that cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. Some common risk factors for the development of plantar fasciitis include:
- Being between the ages of 40-60
- Exercises such as long-distance running, ballet, aerobic dance
- Being flat-footed
- If you’re on your feet most of the day
Treatment for plantar fasciitis can include conservative treatment, such as physical therapy. A physical therapist may provide you pain-relieving methods to reduce discomfort. They will instruct you in exercises to stretch and strengthen the supporting tissues. They may also fashion a night splint for you to wear to stretch the calf and arch of your foot or recommend shoe orthotics to reduce your risk of re-injury. If conservative treatment isn’t working, your primary care provider might recommend steroid injections, surgery, or the TENEX procedure. The TENEX procedure is relatively new and less invasive procedure than surgery.
For more information about Plantar Fasciitis, be sure to discuss this with your primary doctor at your next appointment, or your physical therapist at Virginia Gay Hospital.