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Plantar Fasciitis

General Description

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most commonly known causes of pain in the heel. This is caused by an inflammation of a thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot and serves as a connector of your heel bone to your toes. One of the most telling signs on plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain that comes along with your very first steps of the day. After you walk around on it, the pain decreases, but may come back if you stand for a long amount of time, or when you suddenly get up after seating for a while.

Causes

This injury type often happens in runners, as well as people who wear shoes with the wrong type of support, or those who are overweight. This is because the pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments is increased with these, and if it becomes a repeated motion it can do serious damage. If you suffer from other existing foot problems, like high arches, or flat feet, you are also at an increased chance of developing plantar fasciitis. Even something as simple as wearing shoes that have soft soles that barely provide support can end up resulting in this injury. This is why it is so important to listen to your body, and be conscious of any discomfort that can lead to bigger problems later on.

Typical Treatment

Plantar fasciitis recovery can usually be achieved through conservative treatments  like pain medications, and physical therapy  that includes stretching and strengthening exercises. These will help show you how to strengthen your lower leg muscles, in order to stabilize your ankle and heel. You may also be advised to wear athletic taping to aid in supporting your foot, nights splints, or custom-fitted arch supports. If none of these non-invasive approaches work, steroid shots may be recommended to provide relief. In the most serious of cases, surgery may be required, although it is fairly rare.  You may experience a weaker arch as a result.

How to prevent it

You can prevent plantar fasciitis by taking the best care of your feet. Make sure that you always aim to wear good shoes that provide significant arch support and cushioning for your feet. If you must stand continuously, use a thick rubber mat to reduce stress placed on your feet. Focusing on keeping the Achilles tendon located at the back of the heel, especially if you will be participating in sports. Your doctor can help come up with a routine. Aim to exercise regularly, and always increase levels of intensity gradually, while wearing shoes that are supportive to the activity. While on that note, try to always wear supportive shoes, even when you are simply at the house. Going barefoot or wearing slippers may feel comfortable, but it actually places more stress on your feet. If you participate in sports, you may want to consult with a sports training specialist to come up with an exercise routine you can do regularly to prevent plantar fasciitis from happening.