Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This ligament is responsible for supporting the foot’s arch.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that usually does not have a clear cause. Doctors refer to this condition, as idiopathic plantar fasciitis.
• Risk factors include being obese, having a very high arch, having tight calf muscles, and participating in activities that repetitively stress the heel, such as running.
• Plantar fasciitis causes a person to experience pain on the bottom of the heel. This pain is usually worse first thing in the morning when getting out of bed. The pain also worsens with activity.
• Most people can manage plantar fasciitis with at-home treatment. Resting the foot and applying ice can reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, can help with pain management.
• Stretching the foot thoroughly before and after physical activity, as well as throughout the day, may help to reduce heel pain. Wearing supportive shoes can also help.
• If an individual’s plantar fasciitis does not get better with these treatments, they can try physical therapy, or see a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon for further treatments.
• Steroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation, or a doctor may prescribe custom-made orthotics to provide extra support to the heel.