The plantar fascia is a thick, tough band of tissue that joins the heel to the toes. Not only does this tissue support your arch when you walk, but it also acts as a shock absorber. Wear-and-tear on the plantar fascia can damage this tissue, leading to chronic (ongoing) inflammation.
Plantar fasciitis develops when inflammation around the fibrous tissue causes pain and stiffness that can restrict your movement.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms typically worsen after activity. You could feel fine running or walking for extended periods in its early stages. As the condition worsens, continuous inflammation of the plantar fascia interferes with your ability to jog, walk, even stand.
The common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
Without treatment, plantar fasciitis can change your gait (the way you walk). This change in how you walk can lead to uncomfortable complications, like knee, hip, and lower back pain.
Repeated stress on the feet is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As tension increases in the plantar fascia, small tears inflame the tissue. While anybody can get plantar fasciitis, some groups are more vulnerable than others. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:
Carrying excess weight can put pressure on the plantar fascia, accelerating wear-and-tear in the tissue.
Jobs that require you to stand on your feet all day, including teaching, factory work, and service work, can add stress to the plantar fascia.
Certain kinds of exercise that add pressure to the heel and arches of your feet, like running and dancing, can raise your risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Many people develop plantar fasciitis during middle age, typically after 40.
Your provider at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates completes a physical exam of your feet to diagnose plantar fasciitis. In addition to this exam, they’ll evaluate your gait and check the painful areas of your feet.
Further investigation might be needed to diagnose plantar fasciitis accurately. Your doctor will order X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound to determine how severe the condition is.
Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates offers conservative and surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis. Common treatments include:
Call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about plantar fasciitis.