If you’re dealing with chronic heel pain, one likely culprit is plantar fasciitis. It’s a common foot condition that can cause stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. It sometimes resolves on its own, but there are a few simple home treatments that also can help.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a band of deep tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation or a tear of that tissue. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to the faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches, either overly flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts more strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one’s job requires long hours on the feet.
Other factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:
- Age. It’s more common between the ages of 30 and 60.
- Obesity. Additional weight can put undue stress on the plantar fascia.
- Prolonged standing. Standing on hard surfaces for several hours or longer can damage the tissue.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
- Swelling on the bottom of the heel
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they take the first step after a period of rest.
What can you do for plantar fasciitis?
Simple home treatments can often resolve plantar fasciitis, especially if you catch it early. But it may take longer to heal if it has worsened over time.
Try these tips for relief:
- Rest and stretch. If overuse is the likely cause of your pain, rest is one key to recovery. And, it’s a good idea to couple that with daily stretching exercises once the pain has begun to subside. Foot exercises allow you to keep the plantar fascia from tightening up, so it’s better able to bear your weight when you get moving again.
- Wear proper footwear. Wear a still soaled sneaker with arch support and an orthopedic sandal when at home.
- Ice your feet. Roll your foot over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes.
If the pain continues, talk to your doctor
If home treatment isn’t working, please call (561) 622-6111 and make an appointment to come see Dr. Ariel Lepoff at The Medical Group of South Florida.
Dr. Lepoff can make sure the pain you’re feeling is from plantar fasciitis — and further, advise you if it isn’t.