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Plantar Fasciitis 101

Do you suffer from pain in your heel or the bottom of your foot?

 

Is the pain worse first thing in the morning or after being on your feet for an extended period? If so, you may have plantar fasciitis. Here’s everything you need to know about this common but painful foot condition.

 

What causes it?

Plantar fasciitis is caused by small tears and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissues that run along the length of your foot from heel to toes. The function of the plantar fascia is to absorb shock and support your arch. However, the plantar fascia can become injured through repetitive stress and tension.

 

Who’s at risk?

Plantar fasciitis is a common sports injury, particularly in high impact activities such as running. However, there are other risk factors for the condition, including the following:

  • Spending long periods standing up
  • Being overweight or pregnant
  • Having flat feet, high arches or tight calf muscles
  • Wearing worn-out shoes or high heels

 

Women are more likely than men to develop plantar fasciitis, but the reason for this is unknown. It may be because certain risk factors affect women more than men.

 

How is it diagnosed?

Generally, a foot doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis by analyzing your symptoms. However, they may suggest imaging tests to rule out other causes of the pain.

 

What are the treatment options?

Depending on the severity of your plantar fasciitis, a number of therapies may help. Your podiatrist may suggest one or a combination of the following treatments:

  • Rest. Avoiding the activity that caused the injury is important as it will allow your foot to heal. Your doctor may also suggest icing the area and taking over-the-counter pain medication to help with the pain.
  • Physical therapy. Certain stretches and exercises can help strengthen the muscles in the foot and leg, which can help to support the healing of the plantar fascia. Athletic taping may also help by supporting the arch of the foot.
  • Night splints. Often, doctors suggest splints to hold the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a stretched position overnight, which helps healing.
  • New shoes. New athletic shoes provide more support and distribute the pressure of walking more evenly over the foot than worn-out shoes. Alternatively, custom orthotic insoles can provide the necessary support in any shoe you wear.
  • Pain therapy. Treatments such as laser pain therapy and shockwave therapy have been shown to promote healing and reduce pain in injuries such as plantar fasciitis.

 

Visit a Calgary foot doctor

If you think you’ve developed plantar fasciitis, a foot doctor can help. A specialist at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic can diagnose the condition and suggest the right treatment to literally get you back on your feet. Call our Calgary clinic today to make an appointment.