Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes issues with what is known as the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue and ligaments that connects the toes to the heel of the foot. It is perhaps the most common cause of heel pain. When a person suffers from plantar fasciitis, that band of tissue becomes inflamed and causes pain, particularly when pressure is placed on the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is considered to be an injury that occurs from overuse. Women are the most prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Additionally, people who spend much of their time working on their feet and athletes might also be likely to develop this issue. In fact, runners are most commonly known for suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Being obese or overweight can also cause a person to be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The cause of this condition is usually overuse or excessive pressure on the plantar fascia. This causes strain on the ligaments and tissues and can result in small tears which cause pain and inflammation. While plantar fasciitis is considered to be an injury, it can also be a chronic condition.

What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. Most often, this pain is more severe first thing in the morning and after a person moves around more, the plantar fascia loosens up and pain lessens. The initial pain may feel like a burning sensation. Immediately after exercise or activity, the pain may return due to increased inflammation.

How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Plantar fasciitis treatments depend upon the severity of the symptoms. Conservative treatments include resting the feet, using ice packs, wearing heel and arch supports, and taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can all help to reduce symptoms and allow inflammation to subside.

Night splints and other supportive devices may also be recommended. Physical therapy and stretching routines may also help to keep the plantar fascia loose and prevent stiffness, pain, and tearing. Sometimes, plantar fasciitis requires more intense treatments. This can include corticosteroid injections and even surgery if the pain is severe and persistent.

Last Reviewed:
October 08, 2016
Last Updated:
August 28, 2017