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Foot Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

  • What is Foot Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)?

    Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced fash-ee-eye-tus) is an inflammation of the band of muscle (called the Plantar Fascia) under the foot that supports the arch. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It can occur in one or both feet.

  • Plantar Fasciitis is caused by strain to the Plantar Fascia muscle under the foot. The cause could be degenerative or it could be from a previous injury. It can occur if you wear poor footwear, for example shoes with thin soles or that are not supportive enough. Other causes include:

    • Going back to strenuous activity after a long period of rest
    • Having a short calf muscle
    • Having poor ankle range of motion

    Middle-aged people are most commonly affected.

  • The most common symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is ‘first step pain’, which is pain that occurs when you take your first steps after getting up in the morning. There may also be swelling of the foot.

  • Treatment includes:

    • Modifying your activities and stretching your calf muscle
    • Painkillers or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
    • Resting your foot and applying ice (to reduce inflammation)
    • Wearing more comfortable and supportive footwear, including an insole (Orthotic) to support your arch

    If the pain continues, then your doctor may offer steroid injection. Most family physicians can treat Plantar Fasciitis, but if the pain persists, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for specialist treatment.

  • If you have plantar fasciitis, you should refrain from physical activity during an acute injury. If you have chronic heel pain, you can do light exercises while wearing supportive footwear. Stretching your calf muscles daily will help if you wear high heels.

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