When too much stress is put on the plantar fascia, or the connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the ball of your foot, inflammation, overtightening, and tearing may arise. This can cause foot pain. Because of plantar fasciitis, you may experience tearing with the first steps you take in the morning each day.
A certain trigger that may cause stress to the plantar fascia includes poor arch support, which is brought upon by frequently walking barefoot or wearing shoes with improper arch support. Other causes include obesity or a sudden increase in weight, increased physical activity, weak foot and ankle muscles, tight calf muscles, and arthritis.
- Different Shoes: Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
- Stretching: Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery.
- Arch supports or orthotics: Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.
- Anti-inflammatory medication and/or injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
- Physical Therapy: Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.
- Surgery: Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatment, a small percentage of patients may require surgery. If, after several months of nonsurgical treatment, you continue to have heel pain, surgery will be considered. Your foot and ankle surgeon will discuss the surgical options with you and determine which approach would be most beneficial for you.