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Plantar Fasciitis

If the bottom of your foot hurts when you walk, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. A leading cause of heel pain, it occurs when the thick band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot – the plantar fascia – becomes irritated and inflamed.

The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high tension, stresses and strains you place on your feet. Too much pressure may damage or tear the fascia, causing the inflammation and pain.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes a stabbing pain near the heel. Most common in the morning, the pain typically subsides as you become more active. In fact, the pain is usually worse after exercise rather than during it.

Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors

Factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:

  • Age: Most common between ages 40 and 60
  • Exercise: Long-distance running, ballistic jumping activities, ballet dancing and aerobic dance
  • Foot mechanics: Being flat-footed or having a high arch or an abnormal pattern of walking
  • Footwear: Shoes with inadequate support
  • Obesity: Excess pounds
  • Occupation: Factory and restaurant workers, teachers and others who spend long hours walking or standing on hard surfaces

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Simple treatments like resting, icing and taking pain relievers (such as ibuprofen) can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Stretching exercises and supportive devices – such as physical therapy, shoe inserts and night splints – may also provide symptom relief.

However, if you don’t notice improvement within a couple months, talk to your Summa orthopedic specialist who may recommend steroid injections and/or surgery.

Summa Foot and Ankle Specialist

Jeffrey Junko, M.D.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.