Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is
one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick
band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel
bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing
pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up
and move more, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long
periods of standing or after rising from sitting.
fasciitis is more common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and
those who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension and stress on that bowstring become too great, small tears can arise in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed, though in many cases of plantar fasciitis, the cause isn't clear.
Though plantar fasciitis can arise without an obvious cause, factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:
•Foot mechanics. Being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way weight is distributed when you're standing and put added stress on the plantar fascia.
To reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, try these self-care tips:
Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching, in several months.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
Stretching and strengthening exercises or use of specialized devices may provide symptom relief. These include:
Surgical or other procedures
When more-conservative measures aren't working after several months, your doctor might recommend: