When your 1st few steps out of bed in the morning cause acute pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis . It's an overuse injury affecting the sole or flexor surface (plantar) of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (plantar fascia) a thin layer of tough tissue supporting the arch of the foot.
Repeated microscopic tears of the plantar fascia cause pain. Sometimes plantar fasciitis is called "heel spurs", but this is not always accurate, since bony growths on the heel may or may not be a factor.
You're more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you're a woman, if you're overweight, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk for plantar fasciitis, if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. Most people with very flat feet or very high arches are also more prone to plantar fasciitis.
There are a number of possible causes for plantar fasciitis and they often work in combination.
If you don't treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity and you may also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes the way you walk.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Many different treatments have been effective, and though slow to respond, plantar fasciitis has a generally good prognosis. The mainstays of treatment are stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, rest, cold compression therapy, weight loss, arch support, and taping.
To relieve pain and inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are often used but are of very limited benefit. One small, placebo-controlled study has shown a beneficial effect from glucosamine.
When the pain is too much to handle, one can opt to visit a podiatric cosmetic surgeon and undergo surgery to fix his feet and eliminate the pain.
Care should be taken to wear supportive and stable shoes. Patients should avoid open-back shoes, sandals, and flip-flops.