It is one of the most common causes of foot pain. Despite this, you may have experienced plantar fasciitis without knowing what it was called. Perhaps you’ve felt a stabbing sensation as soon as you get up and on your feet in the morning. The feeling usually goes away quickly, but it can come back throughout the day if you spend a lot of time on your feet or after you stand up after being seated.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
If you’re a runner, you’re more likely to have experienced plantar fasciitis due to the repeated, stressful impact that running has on your feet. It is also common in people who wear shoes that don’t offer adequate support, or who may be overweight. All of these lead to the tissue on the bottom of your foot overstretching as it flattens when it comes into contact with the ground.
So what is the source of all this discomfort? The plantar fascia is a thick, wide band of tissue that runs along the underside of your foot from the heel to the just under the base of your toes. It supports the arch on the bottom, or plantar, side of your foot. Originally, it was thought that the plantar fascia became inflamed, but more recent studies suggest that this might be a degenerative condition. This may eventually lead to the condition being renamed, but that won’t affect how plantar fasciitis is treated.
There isn’t a cure for this condition, but there are several treatments than can offset the pain and discomfort you experience from plantar fasciitis. To really address the condition over time, the direct cause has to be addressed in addition to treating the symptoms. For example, a runner might need to adjust their form, or an overweight individual may consider buying shoes that offer more support. The bad news is that it can take up to 18 months to resolve plantar fasciitis – a frustratingly long time for anyone used to being able to move around freely.
The best way to ease the pain is to rest the foot as much as possible. This can be difficult, especially for people with a job that requires them to be on their feet throughout the day. In the short term, taping the injury appropriately can give support while decreasing discomfort. Applying ice or heat can reduce the initial pain, and strengthening and stretching exercises can help increase flexibility and strength. Other options include wearing a night splint, administering anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections or, ultimately, surgery.
Coping with plantar fasciitis and countering its effects can take a long time. Your best course of action is to recognize the condition when it begins to affect you and to seek treatment as soon as possible. There’s no better place to start than FastMed Urgent Care. Come see us to make sure you’re up and back on your feet again as soon as possible.