Plantar fasciitis refers to the pain that results when the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, or plantar fascia, becomes inflamed from overstretching or overuse. Because the plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes, most patients experience stiffness and soreness in the heel and arch of the foot. If you believe you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, read more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of this common ailment.
Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women, but most commonly affects men between the ages of 40 and 70. The plantar fascia may become inflamed by naturally flat feet or high arches, long-distance running, sudden weight gain or obesity, or shoes with poor arch support or soft soles.
Most patients report a dull or sharp pain in the bottom of the heel or a burning sensation in the bottom of the foot. Pain is usually worse in the morning, after extended periods of standing or sitting, when climbing stairs, or after athletic activity. If you are currently experiencing any symptoms of plantar fasciitis, schedule a physical exam with your podiatrist. Your doctor will test the affected area for swelling and redness and will also be able to rule out other medical issues.
If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, your podiatrist may recommend a comprehensive treatment plan involving over-the-counter painkillers, heel and stretching exercises, rest, and supportive shoes. You may also be advised to apply ice to the affected area or use special night splints to stretch the foot as you sleep. If the pain persists, your doctor may recommend custom-made shoe inserts or a boot cast.
The prognosis for plantar fasciitis is generally very positive: an easy-to-follow treatment course usually improves the pain. If you live in Austin and have experienced symptoms of plantar fasciitis, call Austin Podiatry at or visit one of our highly trained doctors.