Plantar fasciitis is a very common injury accounting for more than 3 million cases in the United States each year.
It is caused by inflammation of a band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. If you experience a significant pain with your first steps out of bed in the morning, you may be suffering from this condition. Walking after long periods of standing or sitting may worsen the problem.
Patients who run competitively or for exercise/leisure are more prone to experience plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most common ailments that sidelines distance runners. Females, overweight individuals and patients who stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time may also be more susceptible.
While plantar fasciitis is typically an acute condition that responds well to rest and proper stretching, if left untreated, it can become a chronic, long-term problem. As is the case with many other foot maladies, those with flat feet may also be at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Pain after (not during) exercise is a classic symptom, in addition to pain early in the morning or after sitting.
A foot and ankle doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, arch supports and a home stretching program to help the affected foot.
It is important to not return to sport or strenuous activity prior to recovering from plantar fasciitis to avoid it evolving into a long-term, chronic problem.