Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can cause chronic, severe foot pain. In this video, Breanne Kelley, DC, discusses the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for plantar fasciitis. She also explains how Airrosti treats plantar fasciitis and how we help you stay active during treatment.

WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that stretches from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. This strong, tight ligament supports the arch of the foot during movement. It also contributes to the body’s gait and distribution of weight.

Because the plantar fascia is used for everyday movements, it is vulnerable to overuse and strain. Wear and tear and improper foot care can lead to a painful overuse injury called plantar fasciitis. This condition is often described as a stabbing or burning sensation in the heel or bottom of your foot.

Person holding foot with heel pain

WHAT CAUSES PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by weak ankle or hip joints. These weak joints put excessive pressure on the feet, leading to inflammation and foot pain. Understanding the causes and risk factors associated with this condition can help in its prevention and management.

Several common risk factors can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, including:

  • High arches: People with high arches are more likely to get plantar fasciitis because of the extra pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Improper footwear: Footwear lacking adequate arch support can fail to provide the necessary cushioning and stability for your feet.
  • High exercise intensity/volume: Rapidly increasing the intensity or duration of physical activities, such as running or dancing, can strain the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.
  • High-impact activities or work: Sports or occupations that involve repetitive stress on the feet, such as running or jobs that require prolonged walking or standing on hard surfaces.

 

Furthermore, certain demographic factors can also heighten the likelihood of experiencing plantar fasciitis. People who may have a higher weight, are pregnant or are over 40 tend to be at a higher risk. However, plantar fasciitis can affect people of all ages and lifestyles, regardless of demographic factors.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by various signs and symptoms that primarily affect the foot’s arch and the bottom of the heel. Chronic heel pain is a common sign of this condition. It may feel like stabbing or burning, especially when you take your first steps in the morning. However, as the day progresses and you engage in physical activity, the pain may subside.

Additionally, there are specific activities that can trigger or exacerbate the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. These activities include:

  • Long periods of standing: Remaining on your feet for extended durations, such as during work or standing-based activities, can strain the plantar fascia, leading to increased discomfort and pain.
  • Intense exercise: Strenuous exercise like running or jumping can worsen plantar fasciitis symptoms due to the excessive stress it puts on the feet.
  • Getting up from a seated position: After being seated for a while, standing up can trigger a sudden flare-up of pain in the heel.

To effectively manage plantar fasciitis, individuals should recognize signs, be aware of activities that worsen heel pain, and take proactive measures.

Two people running outdoors

PLANTAR FASCIITIS TREATMENT OPTIONS

Because plantar fasciitis symptoms may resemble other injuries, like heel spurs, getting an accurate diagnosis is essential. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination or order imaging tests to help determine the cause of the pain.

Should you be diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, seeking treatment as soon as possible is best. Leaving this condition to heal itself could possibly result in chronic heel pain. Your symptoms may become more severe and difficult to treat. You also face an increased risk of referred pain in the hip, knee, and low back.

Your doctor may suggest physical or manual therapy to strengthen your feet and help improve your mobility over time. Some of the most common methods used to treat plantar fasciitis pain include:

  • Resting and icing the affected foot
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Night splints to stretch your feet while you sleep
  • Orthotics or arch-supporting shoe inserts
  • Exercising and stretching your feet and legs to loosen tight muscles and strengthen weakened muscles

In most cases, common methods can help alleviate pain and promote recovery from plantar fasciitis. However, most severe cases may require injections or surgery. Always talk to a doctor about the best treatment for you and if you might need more serious procedures.

Person doing lacrosse ball exercises for plantar fasciitis treatment

HOW AIRROSTI CAN HELP: PLANTAR FASCIITIS DIAGNOSIS AND PAIN RELIEF

Foot injuries like plantar fasciitis can hinder mobility and reduce quality of life. If chronic foot pain or other conditions keep you from doing what you love, consult an Airrosti Provider today.

Once seen, an Airrosti Provider will thoroughly assess your condition and work to treat your pain at the source. You’ll also receive individualized at-home exercises to further speed recovery and help prevent injuries. In most cases, injuries treated by Airrosti are solved in an average of 3 visits (based on patient-reported outcomes). With both in-clinic and remote options for appointments, Airrosti can help you put your best foot forward with recovery.

Schedule an appointment online or call us at (800) 404-6050 for more information.


Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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