Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition in which there is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue at the bottom of your foot-called the plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes, which also help support the arch of your foot.
How common is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is considered as one of the most common cause of pain and inflammation at the bottom of the heel. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), it is estimated that about 2 million patients are treated for plantar fasciitis each year.
Although plantar fasciitis can affect anyone the National Library of Medicine (NLM) states that the condition is more common in active men aged 40 to 70 years old.
People engaged in running sports may be particularly at risk of developing the condition. People who are obese or overweight; pregnant women; and women who are fond of wearing high heeled shoes are at risk for plantar fasciitis, as well.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
There is no one particular cause of plantar fasciitis. In most cases, it is associated with overuse and overstretching of the fascia, which can cause it to become irritated and inflamed causing heel pain. There are, however, several factors that may contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis including:
• Being obese or overweight, especially those who stand for a long time wearing poor cushioned shoes.
• Runners who change their workout or increase their mileage too fast and too soon.
• Standing or walking for long periods.
• Having a foot abnormality, such as having a very high arched foot or being flat-footed.
• Wearing the wrong kind of shoes, such as thin soled shoes or shoes with no arch support.
In some cases, having tight calf muscles or Achilles tendon may also contribute to developing plantar fasciitis.
In the past, it was thought that the condition is caused by a heel spur. Researchers, however, found that plantar fasciitis is not caused by a heel spur. The AAOS states that "the pain from the condition can be treated without even removing the spur."
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
People with plantar fasciitis commonly complain of pain at the bottom of the heel, which can be worse during the morning after getting out of bed but may eventually improve after a few minutes of walking. Redness and swelling may occur if the fascia is partially or totally torn.