Photo Of A Woman Rubbing Her Leg - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & AnkleAnyone who has ever experienced heel pain knows how debilitating it can be. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis, known to be one of the most common causes of heel pain, is usually treatable with a few visits to the podiatrist. Patients with this condition experience pain when standing or putting pressure on the feet. The condition is most common in older and middle-aged adults as well as young people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by irritation of the plantar fascia ligament, which is the band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Repeated strain on this ligament can cause it to tear, leading to pain and swelling. It’s unclear exactly what causes the condition, but certain people are more prone to developing it, especially those who are overweight, have high arches or flat feet, or are constantly on their feet. People who wear ill-fitting or worn out shoes may also experience heel pain. Sometimes, the natural aging process leads patients to develop plantar fasciitis.

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

There are a few simple steps patients can take to reduce heel pain. Relaxing tension in the lower legs can reduce stress on the feet. This is an excellent habit for people of all ages to adopt. Making changes to walking form can also provide relief. When walking, make sure to land on the middle of the foot rather than the heel and lead with the upper body rather than the legs. Patients should always speak to their podiatrist before beginning an at-home plantar fasciitis treatment program.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Many people benefit from conservation treatment for plantar fasciitis, but patients should work with their podiatrist to find the best treatment for their situation. Some respond well to pain relieving or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Other patients may need to undergo physical therapy to stretch and strengthen muscles or wear splints or orthotics to support the foot and heel. Patients who don’t respond to conservative treatment may need more advanced plantar fasciitis treatment, including steroid injections or, in the worst cases, surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel.

Anyone who experiences chronic heel pain should contact their podiatrist to find out which type of treatment for plantar fasciitis is best for them.