Plantar fasciitis is most common in people who are 40-60 years old. Other risk factors that increase your chance of getting plantar fasciitis include:
Physical exertion, especially in sports such as:
- A sudden increase in exercise intensity or duration
- Physical activity that stresses the plantar fascia
- People who spend a lot of time standing
- A sudden increase in activities that affect the feet
- Obesity or weight gain
- Pre-existing foot problems, including an abnormally tight Achilles tendon, flat feet, or an ankle that rolls inward too much
- Poor footwear
- Heel spurs
Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Your foot will need time to heal. Supportive care may include:
- Rest—Activities, such as running, may need to be restricted.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve pain.
- Night splint—A night splint helps to hold the foot in a neutral position while sleeping.
- Orthotics—Special shoe inserts will help to support the mid-arch region of the foot.
Stretches to lengthen the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may be advised when pain has lessened.
Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication may be advised. Steroid injections may also be used in some cases if other treatments do not provide relief.
A physical therapist will assess the foot. An exercise program will be created to help recovery. Therapy may include manual therapy techniques of joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization to reduce pain and improve function.
A special type of sound wave called extracorporeal shock wave may also be considered in certain cases. This treatment happens under the care of your doctor. At this time, this is generally a treatment for long-term cases that do not respond to other treatments. Massage therapy or acupuncture may also be effective for long-term cases.
In a few cases, basic treatments don't help. Surgery may be performed to cut the tight, swollen fascia.
To reduce your risk of getting plantar fasciitis take these steps:
- Wear appropriate and well-fitted footwear during sports and exercise.
- Do stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.
- Increase the intensity and duration of exercise gradually.
- Maintain an appropriate weight.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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