If you’ve been struggling with foot pain or discomfort that just won’t seem to go away, you’ve probably wondered if it’s plantar fasciitis. While plantar fasciitis is one of the most common food conditions, there are a lot of things that can cause heel and arch pain.
Keep reading for some helpful information on diagnosing plantar fasciitis, as well as advice on when it’s time to visit your podiatrist!
Plantar Fasciitis 101
First thing’s first: what is plantar fasciitis? The answer is in the name! Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia (the ligament that connects your heel to your toes) becomes inflamed. Because this ligament is so foundational to your foot, the pain and discomfort this inflammation causes can manifest in different areas.
Who Develops Plantar Fasciitis?
The unfortunate truth is that anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but there are some things that make you more susceptible than others. Carrying extra weight (whether you’re overweight or pregnant) can lead to plantar fasciitis because of the extra stress on your feet. And, speaking of stress, if you run a lot or you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, you could develop plantar fasciitis as well.
Your likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis also depends on your unique feet—having high arches, flat feet, a tight Achilles tendon, walking on the inside of your feet, and more can all make you more susceptible.
What Are the Symptoms?
Plantar fasciitis can look different for different people, but most commonly it appears as heel pain. Sometimes, however, the pain can be in the arch of the foot—and the levels of pain experienced can vary.
The most common descriptions of plantar fasciitis pain include:
- Anywhere from dull pain to sharp, stabbing pain in the heel
- Pain and stiffness, especially first thing in the morning (or after you’ve been sitting or laying down for a while)
- Aching or muscle burning that starts in the heel and extends along the bottom of the foot
- Pain that increases throughout the day or after being on your feet for a while
Essentially, plantar fasciitis happens whenever there’s too much strain on the plantar fascia. If you have a job or hobbies that keep you on your feet a lot and you’ve been experiencing foot pain, it’s fairly likely that it’s plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
One of the benefits of plantar fasciitis being so common is that treatment is usually pretty simple. There are even plenty of at-home treatments you can try to relieve pain and discomfort. If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis, the first thing you should do is rest! Reducing the strain on your plantar fascia is one of the most effective treatments available.
Other treatments can include investing in more comfortable footwear, custom orthotics, and targeted foot exercises. Plantar fasciitis can take anywhere from three to 12 months to fully heal, depending on your level of activity and the severity of your specific case, among other things. Sometimes it can be persistent, in which case more rigorous treatment might be necessary.
Don’t Wait for Heel Pain Relief
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, don’t wait to seek treatment. In our fast-paced lifestyles, taking the rest you need to feel better oftentimes isn’t an option. Talking with your podiatrist, getting a correct diagnosis, and receiving the right treatment are all crucial to getting you back on your feet and enjoying life! Get in touch with Foot Specialists of Birmingham today to set up an appointment. We look forward to serving you.