Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your foot arc. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:
- Feet rolls inward too much when walking
- With high arches or flat feet.
- Walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
- Shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out.
Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.
The doctor will perform a physical exam to see if a plantar fascia is tender or swollen. X-rays are sometimes needed to evaluate the heel bone. On X-rays, pointed bony fragment that stems from the heel bone, however it is not always present. In some cases, an Ultrasound or MRI may be needed.
Physiotherapy is of great value, and conservative treatment is usually all that is required. Specifically, patients may benefit from radial shock wave therapy, which is new, safe and effective treatment modality.
Sometimes, an local injection of potent inflammatory medicine (called “steroid”) is helpful. Surgery is indicated for selected cases.
No single treatment works best for everyone with plantar fasciitis. But there are many things you can try to help your foot get better:
- Give your feet a rest. Cut back on activities that make your foot hurt. Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces.
- To reduce pain and swelling, try putting ice on your heel. Or take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin.
- Do toe stretches, calf stretches and towel stretches several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning.
- Heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics). Use them in both shoes, even if only one foot hurts.
- Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try