Heel Pain? Arch Pain? Could Be...

Plantar Fasciitis. Let’s say it together, PLAN-tur fashee-EYE-tis. If you’ve hung around the FAAWC enough, I’m sure you have run into this term. Whether you heard it in passing in the hall or saw it on a brochure, it’s important to know what it is, because you may be experiencing it! When you wake up in the morning and, after hitting the snooze button several times, swing your feet onto the floor, do you feel sharp pain in your heels or the bottoms of your feet? This is due to your plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Previously, it was believed that this was an inflammatory condition, but recent research shows actual structural changes in the plantar fascia. Essentially, repeated stress on the plantar fascia causes small tears in the ligament, can lead to calcium deposits in the connective tissues, and may rearrange the collagen fibers of your foot.

There are several risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis including:

  • Walking or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Having very high or very low arches
  • Wearing shoes that do not fit properly
  • Rolling your feet inward when you walk
  • Having excessively tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons

As always, the first thing you should do is stop all activity and rest the affected foot or feet. Heat and ice along with stretching and strengthening exercises will help with plantar fasciitis, but it’s important to see your podiatrist for a full recovery plan. This plan may involve taping techniques, custom orthotics, steroid shots, or even surgery as a last result.

If you wake up in the morning with pain in your arches or heels, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Please call the FAAWC today to make an appointment and get you waking up to a pain free morning!