When does plantar fasciitis occur?
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that occurs when the ligament on the bottom of your foot becomes irritated due to excessive stress. This ligament, which supports your arch and connects your heel bone to the front of your foot, can become weak and swollen if strained. This, in turn, leads to heel pain, inflammation, and potentially small tears in the tissue. These tears may not be immediately visible, but can cause significant discomfort and affect your mobility.
Many individuals experience heel pain, which often starts as a persistent, throbbing ache in the heel area. This discomfort tends to persist despite taking rest or using anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen. In severe cases, the pain may be so severe that it restricts movement, forcing individuals to remain immobile. Furthermore, the intensity of the pain is usually greater in the morning or after prolonged periods of inactivity, although it gradually subsides as time goes on.
Experiencing an increase in pain while walking or running is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis. Additionally, prolonged periods of standing or being on your feet can significantly impact the health of your ankles. If you suspect that you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, it is highly recommended to refrain from engaging in activities that exacerbate the discomfort until you seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.
Plantar fasciitis typically affects those with high arches, flat feet or unusual walking patterns. It may also occur in overweight individuals and those whose jobs require them to stand or walk for extended periods of time.
Athletes who engage in sports that require a lot of jumping or running, like soccer and basketball, may be more susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis than other individuals due to the muscles in their feet and legs stretching out when you run or jump. This puts them at greater risk when the ligament in their heel is damaged.
Most people with plantar fasciitis are between the ages of 40 and 60, as the elasticity of your foot tissue begins to decline with age.
Many people with plantar fasciitis don’t experience any symptoms at all, but it is wise to consult your physician if the pain in your foot doesn’t seem to be improving. They can examine your foot to identify if plantar fasciitis is the issue and, if so, suggest treatments to alleviate the discomfort.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve pain and inflammation, but only when prescribed by your healthcare provider. Don’t take them for more than 10 consecutive days at a time.
Ice your foot can help reduce pain and swelling in your foot. Apply ice three or four times a day, for 20 minutes at a time until the discomfort subsides.
Orthotic shoe inserts can reduce the strain on your plantar fascia and improve posture. These inserts feature built-in cushions to absorb shocks and keep tissue from stretching too far.
Plantar fasciitis is often characterized by heel pain, but can also affect the arches and back of feet. You may experience more intense discomfort if you’re barefoot or wearing shoes with limited support.