Plantar fasciitis gives you no warning when it will hit. This foot problem can be so painful that you can't put weight on the affected foot. Here is how to deal with it so you can get back up on your feet.
A Lot of Pain From a Small Band of Tissue
The plantar fascia is a narrow band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to the base of your toes. It gives some stability to your foot and helps hold the arch in place. A number of conditions can irritate this tissue, causing it to become inflamed. When this happens, it becomes painful just to step down on your foot.
Some of the other symptoms you may have include:
- a burning sensation along the bottom of your foot
- severe pain when you press on the bottom of your heel or at the base of your toes
- pain when you flex your foot up or down
- weakness in the foot when you try to put weight on it
Causes of Plantar Fascia Irritation
Some of the causes of this foot pain are out of your control while others you can manage to prevent. Typical causes include:
- genetic weakness of the muscles and tendons in the foot
- injury to the muscles or tendons in the foot
- overworking the muscle in your foot
- failure to warm up the muscles in the foot adequately before exercising or doing other physical activities
- improperly fitting shoes that rub on the bottom of your foot
Short-Term Relief of Plantar Fasciitis
If you suddenly find yourself with this foot pain, you can gain some temporary relief with the following:
- hold an ice pack against the bottom of your foot for several minutes to allow the inflammation to go down
- slowly roll your foot over a small ball to stretch out the tense muscles in the bottom of your foot
- take an anti-inflammatory pain medicine as directed
Relief From Frequent Foot Pain
If you frequently develop plantar fasciitis, visit your local podiatrist for an evaluation and treatment. They will offer approaches to prevent this painful problem, such as:
- custom robotics to wear in your shoe and support your foot
- physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the bottom of your foot
- steroid injections in the foot to reduce the pain and swelling
If these treatments fail to give you enough relief, surgery may be an option. The plantar fascia and tendons in the bottom of the foot can be repositioned or lengthened to prevent further irritation and inflammation.
Preventing This Foot Pain
There are a few actions you can take to reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. These include:
- do stretching and warm up exercises on your feet prior to physical activity or playing sports
- warm up your feet on cool days before being active
- wear athletic socks that keep your feet warm and don't rub on the bottom of your feet
- wear proper fitting shoes that hold your foot in place so the heel and bottom of the foot don't move in the shoe
For more information, contact Advanced Foot Clinic or a similar location.