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Plantar Fasciitis: What it is and How to Treat it

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs from your toes to your heel on the bottom of your foot. This band can become inflamed and painful, often due to repetitive motions like walking or running. When that occurs, plantar fasciitis is the common diagnosis. The condition is frequently seen in runners, but can occur anytime the plantar fascia is overused. Women and individuals who are overweight are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia suffers small tears due to repetitive motion or overstretching. Factors that increase your risk for this condition include:

  • Wearing shoes without proper support
  • Foot arch problems (high or low arches)
  • Running long distances or on uneven surfaces
  • Significant weight gain, particularly over a short period of time

Damage to the fascia can result in swelling, damage and inflammation that can make walking and other activities quite painful. If the activity continues without rest and appropriate treatment, it can make the condition worse and harder to treat.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis might include:

  • Stabbing pain in the heel of the foot
  • Pain is usually worse in the morning or after periods of activity
  • Pain may develop slowly or come on rather suddenly
  • Inside of the heel may be sensitive to the touch

Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

While rest is usually recommended during the painful stage of plantar fasciitis, exercise once the pain subsides can significantly decrease your odds of subsequent flare-ups of the condition. At In Motion O.C., we recommend the following general exercises for treating plantar fasciitis:

  • Calf stretch
  • Windshield wipers
  • Towel scrunches
  • Single leg balance

You can see demonstrations of these exercises by our In Motion staff at our video on YouTube. To learn more about this condition or schedule further evaluation and a customized treatment program, contact our In Motion team at 949-861-8600.

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