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Understanding the ABC of Plantar Fasciitis

Pain and inflammation in your feet can be a huge roadblock to your everyday activities. It can make exercise impossible, and you may even have trouble walking or standing as you try to go about your daily routine.

Plantar fasciitis may be responsible. Could you be suffering from this common and painful condition? Read on the learn the basics of plantar fasciitis, courtesy of advanced foot and ankle physicians. Visit our ankle and foot Center in The Woodlands, TX, if you think you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

What Is It?

Your foot has a long strip of tissue that extends from your toes to your heels. Known as fascia, these tissues support the various components of your feet, including the arch and the muscles inside.

Fascia are elastic because they’re primarily made of collagen, but if they stretch too far or experience too much stress, they can tear.

What Are the Signs?

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain on the bottom of your feet. You may feel it toward the front or center of your heel bone. Some people describe it as “first step pain”, or pain that’s worse as they get out of bed in the morning.

Plantar fasciitis pain can be occasional or continuous as you go about your day. Other people only feel it after sitting, standing, or exercising for a long period of time. Sometimes stepping in a certain way or moving your foot can cause pain.

Who Has It?

Many different people are at risk of plantar fasciitis, but certain factors increase your risk. For instance, plantar fasciitis is more common in adult women than in adult men. It’s more common as you age, especially if you’re overweight. People with very flat feet or very high arches are also at high risk of plantar fasciitis.

Those who spend several hours a day on their feet are at particular risk of stressing the fascia tissue and developing plantar fasciitis symptoms. People with tight Achilles tendons and unusual walking or standing postures have a higher risk.

You can decrease your risk of plantar fasciitis by wearing good, fitted shoes with arch support and thick soles. Try and avoid wearing high heeled shoes.

What Can You Do About It?

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis often go away on their own, although it may take up to a few months for this to occur. Rest, improve your posture and shoes, and take prescribed pain medications as directed. These steps can help reduce swelling and encourage the fascia on the bottom of your feet to heal naturally.

Visit an ankle and foot center if you’re having frequent or long-term foot pain, or if you see bruising or redness on the bottom of your foot. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet for tender areas and can easily diagnose plantar fasciitis. In rare cases, you may need imaging like an X-ray to rule out conditions like a pinched nerve that may also be causing you pain.

In even rarer cases, you may need foot and ankle surgery. However, this is usually only needed if you have a stress fracture, compressed nerve, or other serious condition aside from plantar fasciitis.

For more information, visit the best foot and ankle surgeons in The Woodlands, TX. Call Ankle & Foot Specialists of Conroe, The Woodlands, today to make an appointment to have your feet evaluated by a physician.