Don't Let Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain) Slow You Down
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments. It causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It supports the arch of your foot and helps you walk.
The major complaint of those with plantar fasciitis is gradually increasing pain on the bottom of the heel, sometimes progressing to the mid arch. It can affect one foot or both and the pain can be sharp or dull, burning or aching.
Pain is often worse first thing in the morning, or after being off your feet for a while, due to the contraction of the fascia when non-weight-bearing.
You’re at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you’re overweight, especially if you have sudden weight gain. Women who are pregnant often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy. It’s most common between the ages of 40 and 70 and women are affected slightly more often than men. Long distance runners are at risk, as well as people with tight ligaments and structural deformities of the foot, like high arches, or flat feet. Wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support are aggravating factors.
Treatment Most people who have plantar fasciitis improve with conservative treatments, including resting, icing the painful area, stretching exercises, wearing gel heel pads, supportive shoes and arch supports (orthotics).
Medications Pain relievers such as ibuprofen can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Topical pain creams may also help.
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