Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue connecting your heel to your toes (plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, causing sharp pain when putting weight on the injured foot. The inflammation can lead to you avoiding moving about, bringing down your quality of life, and potentially causing other health problems.
At Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine, our expert team of providers identifies the following three plantar fasciitis risk factors as the most common.
1. Being overweight
If you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) over 27, your risk of developing plantar fasciitis is almost four times greater than someone of a healthy weight.
Being overweight means your body has to support the extra pounds, which stresses the plantar fascia throughout the day. That stress can then lead to the plantar fascia becoming inflamed and causing pain.
Losing weight can greatly help prevent and reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms and provides health benefits for the rest of your body.
2. Spending long hours on your feet
Another common risk factor of plantar fasciitis is spending long hours on your feet. While being active is great for your general health, too much time spent walking and running around increases your chances of the plantar fascia becoming inflamed.
Nurses, retail workers, and other jobs with similar activity levels are most at risk. If you know you must spend long hours on your feet, wearing footwear that properly supports your feet is important.
Stretching and resting your feet between shifts can also help reduce your risks. Our team can provide more advice for your specific scenario if you are concerned about developing plantar fasciitis.
3. Other foot problems
Certain other foot problems, like flat feet and high arches, can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Another foot problem that commonly causes plantar fasciitis, poor ankle dorsiflexion, can occur from tight calf muscles or previous trauma to the foot, ankle, and leg muscles.
Plantar fasciitis treatment
Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is treated at home by icing the foot, avoiding the activities that caused the condition, and stretching. Custom orthotics, physical therapy, and night splints can also help treat and prevent future problems.
Plantar fasciitis can take several months to heal, and our team may recommend surgery for more severe cases. Corticosteroid injections can also be an option for treating plantar fasciitis that is not healing from conservative treatments.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can keep you from participating in exercise and activities or even going about your daily routine comfortably; however, our team at Washington Foot & Ankle in Kirkland, Washington, is here to help. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online to begin healing your plantar fascia.