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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis 101

Plantar Fasciitis may sound a little frightening. But it really isn't. It is the most common cause of  heel pain and gets its name because it starts in the plantar fascia part of your foot. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects the heel bone to your toes and supports the foot's arch.

Who Is at Risk and What are the Symptoms?

You likely most often hear about runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis. But, anyone who is constantly on their feet can strain or weaken the plantar fascia, leading to swelling, inflammation, and even tiny tears in the ligament. Heel pain can range from dull and nagging to severe and shooting. Sometimes uncomfortabble stiffness in the arch of the foot can also be a sign of plantar fasciitis.

In addition to standing on your feet for long periods of time, other causes include: 
  • feet rolling inward too much when walking
  • high arches or flat feet
  • unhealthly weight measurements
  • shoes that don't fit well or are worn out
If you are suffering from this type of pain, don't suffer through it. Make an appointment with an orthopedist. Treatments may include:
  •  resting your feet, and cutting back on strenuous activities, especially on hard surfaces 
  • icing your heels
  • performing foot and calf stretches regularly - a good one to try is pulling on both ends of a rolled towel placed under the ball of your foot
  • investing in a new pair of shoes with sturdy arch support and a cushioned sole
If these therapies along with over-the-counter pain medication do not help, your doctor might suggest special splints to wear at night, or an anti-inflammatory cortisone shot.

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