Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can happen to individuals of any age. It involves the band of your plantar fascia muscle, which supports the arch of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It can be improved with physical therapy and prevented by avoiding hard surfaces, wearing supportive shoes, and standing correctly.
Even though plantar fasciitis is based in the arch, it can cause pain in the entire foot. Symptoms of the condition include pain when walking, pain when standing up after sitting down, and pain after standing for a long period of time. Most commonly, patients experience pain at the bottom of their heel – although this pain can be felt anywhere from the ankles to the toes, and may radiate to different areas. The type of pain that is felt is dependent on the person and can range anywhere from a dull ache to a sharp shooting pain. Generally, plantar fasciitis affects one foot at a time, but can affect both feet in cases of serious strain.
The first step in treating plantar fasciitis is to reduce the amount of swelling in the plantar fascia ligament. Treating the swelling can include prescription medication and the use of ice therapy on the area that is being affected. Arch supports may also be recommended.
Physical therapy methods, including toe stretches, can greatly improve the way the muscle stretches and reacts to long periods of strain. Your foot doctor might recommend that you wear a brace to keep the tendon from being further strained. In some extreme cases of plantar fasciitis, doctors may prescribe cortisone injections as treatment for the condition. These shots are injected directly into the muscle and work to reduce the swelling and loosen up the muscle.
If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. While symptoms and complications of the condition are not severe, it is important to have a doctor assess the condition. Patients visiting a doctor for plantar fasciitis can expect a treatment plan that involves physical therapy and prevention methods.