Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick band of tissue (fascia) that runs across the bottom (plantar surface) of the feet, connecting the heel bone to the toes. It is one of the most frequent causes of heel pain and is more common in active people between the ages of 40 and 70 (especially long-distance runners) and those who are overweight. It occurs slightly more often in women than in men.
Stabbing pain upon taking the first steps in the morning is a hallmark of this condition, which usually improves after moving around, but may return when first standing after sitting or after standing in one place for long periods of time.
This condition can affect one or both feet and sometimes develops over time, starting with a dull ache or pain before progressing to a burning or stabbing sensation.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed by a physical exam, in which the doctor presses on the plantar fascia to see if pain worsens or improves based on foot position. The doctor will also note any inflammation or redness in the bottom of the foot. They may order an x-ray or MRI to check for other causes of pain, such as bone issues, but imaging tests are often not necessary to make the diagnosis.
Most people can recover from planta fasciitis with several months of icing the area, modifying and/or avoiding painful activities, stretching, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication.
If symptoms do not improve with this conservative treatment, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, night splints, orthotics, walking boots, and/or ultrasonic tissue repair may be tried. In the few people for whom all other treatments fail there is a surgical option to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
Increasing the intake of certain supplements like glucosamine, zinc, vitamin C, fish oil and bromelain may help speed up tissue healing and repair. Lifestyle changes that may help alleviate plantar fasciitis are losing weight and changing to a different physical activity that doesn’t aggravate the plantar fascia.
Bio-Touch is a powerful complementary technique that has been shown to decrease stress and may also help to improve the pain that is caused by plantar fasciitis.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only. Medical advice is neither offered nor implied. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.